The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will consider a motion to centralize all federal lawsuits involving proton pump inhibitors and serious kidney injuries next month, when it convenes a Hearing Session in Miami, Florida. According to an Order issued by the Panel on December 15th, Oral Arguments regarding this and other matters will commence at 9:30 a.m. on January 26, 2017.
More than a dozen proton pump inhibitor lawsuits have been filed in federal courts over chronic kidney disease, renal failure and other kidney complications allegedly associated with the use of the popular heartburn medications. Plaintiffs who favor centralization of these cases claim that hundreds of additional filings are likely, and assert that consolidation in a single U.S. District Court will improve judicial efficiency. However, the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and Dexilent have voiced opposition to the proposal.
Prescription and over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors are used by millions of people to treat peptic disorders such as GERD. Because these drugs are so commonplace, few people worry about their safety. However, recent studies suggest that long-term use may increase an individual’s risk of chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, and even renal failure. In 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration also asked the drug’s manufacturers to include mention of this condition on their product labels. If it is not recognized and treated promptly, this disorder can progress to kidney disease and renal failure.
Plaintiffs pursuing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits claim that defendants have received numerous case reports of kidney injuries in patients who had taken the medications, including incidents involving acute interstitial nephritis, acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and renal failure. They further allege that the pharmaceutical companies withheld this information, and have taken no action to inform doctors and patients about the risks allegedly associated with proton pump inhibitor use.
If the JPML does agree to centralize the federal proton pump inhibitor docket, all federal kidney injury lawsuits involving these drugs will be transferred to a single U.S. District Court to undergo coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings. Plaintiffs in favor of centralization have suggested that the cases be transferred to the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana. Alternatively, they have suggested the District of New Jersey, the Southern District of Illinois, the District of Kansas or the Western District of Louisiana as appropriate venues for the proceeding.
The attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are representing plaintiffs in proton pump inhibitor lawsuits, and continue to evaluate kidney injury claims involving Nexium and other drugs in this class. To learn more, please call (888) 994-8177 to obtain a free review of your potential lawsuit.