Despite FDA Warning, Fluoroquinolone Litigation Crawls Forward in Minnesota

cipro, levaquin, FluoroquinoloneIn the multi-district ligitation docket MDL 1943, defense counsel reported that there are currently 18 cases pending before the federal court in Minneapolis. Of the cases transferred or remanded 52 had settled, 19 were dismissed, and 19 remained open.

  • The DeFelice case is active and in the process of discovery.
  • The Watson case is settled and paperwork is being prepared for dismissal.
  • Ten other cases are waiting for paperwork and will soon be ready for dismissal.

On May 13, 2016, the FDA advised that the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs generally outweigh the benefits for patients with sinusitis, bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options. For patients with these conditions, fluoroquinolones should be reserved for those who do not have alternative treatment options.

Defense counsel reported that in six pending cases, the parties previously reached a settlement, but defense counsel never received final paperwork. Defense counsel sent plaintiffs’ counsel letters requesting that they attend the next status conference. In four out of the six cases, defense counsel successfully made contact with counsel for the plaintiffs, and they hoped to finalize the paperwork soon.

With regard to the remaining two cases, Castillo and Ditolla, defense counsel did not hear back from plaintiffs’ counsel. The Court agreed that defense counsel should prepare the papers for orders to show cause and submit them to the Court. If plaintiffs’ counsel in those cases do not respond to defense counsel before March 1, 2016, the Court will issue the orders to show cause at that time.

Plaintiffs’ counsel reported on the status of the Tummolo case. She stated that a few years ago certain documents were not sent to the defendants, which resulted in dismissal. Plaintiffs’ counsel stated that she would like the case put back on active calendar and intended to apply to have the case restored. Defense counsel stated that the case is currently dismissed and that plaintiff would need to file a motion to vacate the dismissal, which defense counsel would decide whether to oppose. The Court stated that plaintiff should file a motion to vacate with supporting reasons within the next two weeks, after which the defense counsel would have an opportunity to respond.

The Fluoroquinolone Antibacterial Drugs MDL 2642 which includes complaints related to Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox related to peripherial neruropathy have been transfered to the District of Minnesota before Judge John R. Tunheim, the same as as the Levaquin MDL 1943 related to tendon ruptures. At the time of this post (11/02/2015) Judge Tunheim has not issued any orders specific to MDL 2642. It is not yet clear if Judge Tunheim intends to expand any orders or special forms from MDL 1943 for use in MDL 2642.

The next status conference is scheduled for Monday, March 28, 2016 at 3:00 PM.

Larry Bodine

Attorney Larry Bodine is Editor of Mass Tort Nexus, and the Editor of The National Trial Lawyers. He is the former Editor in Chief of and the American Bar Association Journal. He is a cum laude graduate of both Seton Hall University Law School and Amherst College.

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