Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits Near 14,000, as Federal MDL Convenes April Status Conference

Published on April 23, 2020 by Laurie Villanueva

Personal injury lawsuits involving Nexium, Prilosec, PrevAcid and other proton pump inhibitors continue to mount in jurisdictions around the country, with nearly 14,000 kidney injury claims now pending in the federal multidistrict litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.

200+ Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits in State Courts

According to a Joint Status Report filed with the Court on April 17th, more than 200 similar proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been filed in various state courts, including:

  • 85 cases in Delaware Superior Court, New Castle County.
  • 68 cases in Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
  • 47 cases in Atlantic County Superior Court, New Jersey.
  • 22 cases in Common Pleas Court of Hamilton County, Ohio.

While all in-person proceedings are currently on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the federal litigation was scheduled to convene its regular monthly Status Conference on April 22nd via video conference. Matters on the agenda include updates on the Bellwether Trial Pool and discovery.

What Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits are About

The vast majority of proton pump inhibitor lawsuits currently pending in the District of New Jersey were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered kidney failure and other renal complications due to the long-term use of Nexium Prilosec, PrevAcid, Protonix, and Dexilant.

These heart burn medications are among the most popular drugs in the world. But while they are only indicated for short-term use, research suggests that many people take proton pump inhibitors for inappropriate indications and for far longer than current guidelines recommend. Other studies have suggested long-term proton pump inhibitor use may increase the risk for kidney complications, gastric cancer, heart attacks and stroke, dementia, fractures, and certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Plaintiffs pursuing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits claim the manufacturers of Nexium and similar drugs have long known of their products’ potential to harm the kidneys, but purposely concealed this information and failed to provide adequate warnings to the public.

The federal litigation is tentatively scheduled to convene its first bellwether trial in November 2021. As test cases, verdicts in these trials could provide insight into how future juries might decide similar proton pump inhibitor lawsuits.

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