Prilosec Wrongful Death Lawsuit Joins Federal Kidney Injury Litigation

Published on July 26, 2018 by Laurie Villanueva

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturers of Prilosec, one of the most recent additions to the federal proton pump inhibitor litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

According to a Short Form Complaint filed on July 3rd, Earl Orcutt, formerly of Lubbock, Texas, used Prilosec from 1994 until 2016. His wife, Marie, alleges that his long-term Prilosec use caused Mr. Orcutt to develop end stage renal disease, resulting in his subsequent death.

Mrs. Orcutt is seeking damages for strict product liability, design defect, failure to warn, negligence and negligence per se, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, loss of consortium and wrongful death. (Case No. 2:18-cv-11342)

Proton Pump Inhibitor Litigation

The case is one of 4,600 proton pump inhibitor lawsuits currently pending in the District of New Jersey that accuse the manufacturers of Prilosec, PrevAcid, Nexium, Dexilant, and Protonix of concealing the kidney side effects associated with their products, including:

  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN)
  • Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • End Stage Renal Disease (Kidney Failure)

Among other things, plaintiffs claim that defendant companies have long been aware that long-term proton pump inhibitor use can harm the kidneys. Plaintiffs further assert that they would have avoided serious kidney complications had the drug makers provided doctors and patients with adequate warnings of these risk.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Side Effects

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. Prilosec and other heartburn drugs in this class rank among the most popular medications in the world and have become so commonplace that few people ever consider their potential risks.

In fact, many people might be surprised to learn that long-term proton pump inhibitor use has been linked to a range of side effects, including an increased risk for heart attacks, certain bone fractures, B12 deficiency, low magnesium levels, and dementia.

In December 2014, the labels for prescription proton pump inhibitors were updated to note AIN as a potential side effect.

In January 2016, 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.

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