Proton pump inhibitor lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who suffered kidney failure and other renal complications allegedly related to treatment with Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid and similar heartburn drugs continue to move forward in the federal multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.
According to a Case Management Order dated January 17th, plaintiffs pursuing these claims may now file their lawsuits directly in the District of New Jersey, subject to specific provisions set forth in the Order.
The direct filing of complaints is intended to promote judicial efficiency by eliminating potential delays associated with transferring proton pump inhibitor lawsuits from other federal district courts to the District of New Jersey. Among other things, the Order stipulates that actions filed directly in New Jersey may only name a single plaintiff, with the exception of cases that include consortium and/or derivative plaintiffs and, in the event of a wrongful death action, the representatives and/or distributees of the estate.
The January 17th Order also directs the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee to submit a Master Complaint within 14 days of the Order’s entry. A sample Short-form Adoption by Reference Complaint, which is required for all proton pump inhibitor lawsuits filed directly in the District of New Jersey, is to be attached to the Master Complaint.
Once the Master Complaint has been filed, Defendants will have 45 days to file their Master Answer setting forth all defenses to the Complaint.
Court records indicate that 522 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits are currently pending in the District of New Jersey, where all federally-filed claims involving the drugs’ alleged association with kidney failure, chronic kidney disease and other life-threatening renal complications have been centralized for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. Specific drugs cited in the lawsuits include prescription and over-the-counter versions of:
The kidney litigation involving proton pump inhibitors began to gain momentum in 2015, following the publication of several studies that linked long-term use of the medications could harm the kidneys. Plaintiffs claim manufacturers of Nexium and other drugs in this class were aware of these potential risks for years, and had in fact received hundreds of reports linking their products to kidney failure and other kidney complications, yet failed to provide adequate warnings that would have allowed plaintiffs to avoid their injuries.