A Louisiana woman who allegedly developed kidney failure following years of Nexium use will be allowed to pursue defect and warning claims, after the judge overseeing her case turned back a defense bid to have the allegations dismissed.
Plaintiff Alice Donald initially filed her Nexium lawsuit last December in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District Louisiana. According to her complaint, she was prescribed the proton pump inhibitor in September 2013, and continued taking it until April 2016. Donald alleges that continued use of the drug caused her kidneys to fail. She filed suit against AstraZeneca Plc and other defendants for strict product liability, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, fraud, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation, and breaches of express and implied warranties.
In an Order dated March 22nd, the judge overseeing the case upheld claims of defect in construction or composition and design defect, ruling that Donald had sufficiently pled that Nexium was defective in formulation and that safer designs existed. The complaint’s failure-to-warn claim was also upheld.
“Donald’s complaint alleges that her treating physician would not have prescribed her Nexium had the physician been properly warned of the risks of kidney injuries,” the judge wrote. “In following with the Fifth Circuit’s quite generous instruction on specificity required at the pleading stage for an LPLA claim, the Court finds that the plaintiff’s complaint provides ‘facial plausibility’ for a failure-to-warn claim.”
Donald’s Nexium lawsuit is just one of many currently pending in U.S. courts that accuse proton pump inhibitor manufacturers of concealing the kidney risks associated with their products. The litigation began to grow following the publication of studies linking long-term proton pump inhibitor use to chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and other serious renal complications.
In January, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied a plaintiffs’ motion seeking centralization of all l federally-filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits involving kidney complications in a single U.S. District Court. Despite this decision, filings continue to mount and cases are moving forward in courts throughout the country. If this trend continues, plaintiffs may make a second bid for centralization.