Individuals who suffered kidney failure and other renal complications allegedly related to the long-term use of Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors may have more time to file their claims, so long as they meet requirements of a stipulation recently filed in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.
More than 4,500 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been centralized in the District of New Jersey, all of which allege that the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid, Dexilant, and Protonix, failed to warn patients and doctors of the kidney risks potentially associated with their products. However, experts believe that as many as 10,000 such lawsuits will eventually be filed in state and federal courts around the country.
Like any other product liability lawsuit, these claims are governed by a statute of limitations that requires plaintiffs to file their case by a certain deadline. The specific deadline varies from state to state.
The stipulation filed in the District of New Jersey on June 27th establishes a process for Plaintiffs’ attorneys to provide certain information about individuals who are alleged to have developed kidney problems due to their proton pump inhibitor use. The attorneys will then have additional time to investigate the factual basis of each potential lawsuit.
Beginning on July 31, 2018, and the on the last Tuesday of every month going forward, a spreadsheet will be submitted to the Court that contains specific information on potential cases. Submission of the spreadsheet will “toll” the statute of limitations for any listed federal case until January 31, 2019. Cases included in the spreadsheet that are filed in state courts will be tolled until May 31, 2019. Cases included on the first spreadsheet will be tolled as of April 16, 2018, and subsequent lists will toll cases as of the date submitted.
Any plaintiff subject to tolling who subsequently decides to file a proton pump inhibitor lawsuit must provide “specific” evidence regarding their medication usage and proof of injury within 7 business days of filing their complaint. They will also be required to submit a Plaintiff Fact Sheets and other documents after the expiration of the tolling agreement.
Prescription and over-the-counter versions of proton pump inhibitors are taken by millions of Americans every year to relieve symptoms associated with GERD and other acid-related digestive disorders. The litigation involving these drugs began to mount after numerous studies were published that suggested a link between long-term proton pump inhibitor use and an increased risk for:
In January 2016, for example, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that proton pump inhibitors might increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by as much as 50%.
In April of the same year, research appearing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that long-term proton pump inhibitor users were 96% more likely to develop kidney failure and 28% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease compared to patients taking Zantac and other H2-blockers.
In December 2014, the labels for prescription proton pump inhibitors were updated to note acute interstitial nephritis as a potential side effect. However, the prescribing information does not mention any other potential kidney risks.