The federal court overseeing hundreds of proton pump inhibitor lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Prilosec, Nexium, PrevAcid, Dexilant and Protonix has issued a new Case Management Order governing, among other things, the form, procedure, and schedule for the completion and service of Plaintiff Fact Sheets.
More than 500 such lawsuits are currently pending in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, where all federally-filed product liability claims involving the alleged link between proton pump inhibitors and kidney failure, as well as other serious renal complications, have been centralized for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
The Plaintiff Fact Sheets addressed by the February 5th Case Management Order are questionnaires that allow claimants to provide the Court with pertinent information regarding, among other things, their alleged injuries and specific details about their proton pump inhibitor use. The questionnaires will serve as interrogatories in the multidistrict litigation.
Every plaintiff involved in the proceeding is required to provide the Court with a Plaintiff Fact Sheet that is “substantially complete in all respects.” Those with currently pending cases must serve a Plaintiff Fact Sheet and duly executed authorizations, with the relevant documentation attached, within 120 days of the date of the Order.
Plaintiffs who file or have proton pump inhibitor lawsuits transferred to the multidistrict litigation in the future must do so ninety (90) days from the date of service of the first Short Form Answer received and filed by a Defendant.
Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitors are used by millions of people to treat symptoms associated with heart burn and other peptic disorders. Plaintiffs involved in the federal litigation now underway in New Jersey claim that the drugs’ manufacturers failed to warn consumers that their long-term use could harm the kidneys, resulting in chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, and other life-threatening renal complications.
“Recent studies have shown the long-term use of PPIs was independently associated with a 20% to 50% higher risk of CKD, after adjusting for several potential confounding variables, including demographics, socioeconomic status, clinical measurements, prevalent co-morbidities, and concomitant use of medications,” the complaints state.
The lawsuits also assert that safer alternatives to proton pump inhibitors exist for treating heart burn, and argue that plaintiffs could have avoided their kidney complications had the manufacturers provided the public with adequate kidney warnings.