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J&J Face Levaquin Lawsuit

Five former Levaquin users filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen unit claiming the drug giant deliberately downplayed side effects of the medication to boost profits. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit said J&J mislabeled and misbranded the popular antibiotic, causing “significant harm and/or death to consumers of Levaquin, including plaintiffs.”

In addition to J&J, the plaintiffs name additional defendants, including former FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. The suit falls under the under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act, the law used to prosecute organized crime. Plaintiffs seek more than $800 million, about $120 million in compensatory damages and around $750 million in punitive damages — damages meant to punish companies and discourage the same kind of behavior in the future, according to Fierce Pharma.

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