Mattthew and Jennifer Mirto, represented by Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, filed a complaint against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Bayer Corporation; Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc; Janssen Research & Development, LLC; and Janssen Pharmaceutical Co in the District of Connecticut Tuesday. They claim that these companies mislead Matthew Mirto, his healthcare providers, and the healthcare industry as to the potential side effects and best use case for fluoroquinolone- based antibiotic medication (FLQ drugs), which lead to significant permanent damage to his body.
The plaintiffs allege that Matthew Mirto’s physicians used reasonable judgment and knowledge about these medications to prescribe Cipro, Avelox, and Levaquin for various bacterial infections he sustained, and that despite correct usage on behalf of Mr. Mirto, these medications caused recurring and escalating joint and tendon pain, culminating in a formal diagnosis of neurogenic pain in April 2016. Additionally, FLQ drugs reportedly caused Mr. Mirto to require cardio-thoracic surgery in May 2019 for an ascending aortic aneurysm and dilated aortic root. During this surgery, it was discovered that his aorta, root and valve all needed replacing.
The complaint explains that beginning in the late 1990s, the defendants reframed FLQ drugs from a “big gun” antibiotic, to a general purpose first-line medication to, purportedly, make more money. However, the plaintiff alleges the defendants knew, or should have known, that neurogenic damage was a commonly reported adverse effect from this class of medication since at least 1996 according to a study cited in the complaint. Purportedly taking into account the mounting evidence for these adverse effects, the FDA issued a black box warning for this class of medication in July of 2008.
The plaintiffs allege that through negligence or malice the defendants misled the public about the safety of FLQ drugs. Had Mr. Mirto and his prescribing physicians been adequately warned of the potential for these potentially rapid-onset and irreversible side effects, Mr. Mirto would not have taken these medications and would have avoided life-changing bodily harm.
The plaintiffs seek financial remuneration for the permanent or ongoing damages Matthew Mirto sustained as a result of taking FLQ drugs and for Jennifer’s loss of her husband’s society, services, care, comfort, and consortium, in an amount as determined by a jury trial.