The federal court overseeing thousands of kidney injury lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors will convene the litigation’s first bellwether trial on September 21, 2020.
According to an Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, on June 20th, the trial date was set during the multidistrict litigation’s June 12th Case Management Conference. The Court has directed parties to submit a Scheduling Order for the first bellwether trial by June 26th.
More than 4,500 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been consolidated in the District of New Jersey, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who allege that long-term use of the popular heart burn drugs can result in serious renal complications, including:
Plaintiffs further allege that the makers of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, and Dexilant are aware of data suggesting that proton pump inhibitors might harm the kidneys but failed to provide patients and doctors with adequate warnings of these risks.
Federally-filed proton pump inhibitor lawsuits were centralized in the District of New Jersey in August 2017, when just over 160 cases were pending in federal courts nationwide. Since then, the litigation has grown to include at least 4,517.
The creation of the multidistrict litigation was intended to improve judicial efficiency. Centralization enables all pending cases – as well as any filed in federal courts in the future – to undergo coordinated pretrial discovery and motions practice, thus preserving the resources of the courts, parties, and witnesses involved in the litigation.
The proceeding’s bellwether trials will involve cases that are representative of all of the proton pump inhibitor lawsuits included in the multidistrict litigation. Their verdicts may provide insight to how other juries could rule in similar claims. While there is no guarantee, verdicts in bellwether trials may also lead to a global settlement of all claims pending in a multidistrict litigation.
Each of the proton pump inhibitor lawsuits currently centralized in New Jersey continue to maintain their own identity. Any case not resolved in the course of the litigation will be returned to the federal court where it was initially filed for trial.