Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuits May be Centralized in Louisiana Federal Court

Published on October 19, 2016 by Sandy Liebhard

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Plaintiffs pursuing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits in federal courts around the U.S. have proposed that their claims, as well as any similar cases filed in the future, be centralized in a single U.S. District Court for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. All of the currently pending cases similarly allege that the popular heartburn drugs caused claimants to develop serious kidney injuries, including acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease, and renal failure.

According to a Motion for Transfer filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on October 17th, there are currently 15 such cases pending in federal courts in California, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. All claim that the manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors failed to adequately warn consumers that use of the medications could cause irreparable harm to the kidneys. Plaintiffs expect that hundreds of additional cases are likely to be filed in the coming months, and assert that centralization will serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses, counsel, and the judicial system.

“Absent pretrial coordination or consolidation, the possibility of inconsistent pretrial rulings exists, especially with respect to the proper scope and extent of discovery, causation, and other factual and legal issues,” the Motion states. “Given the procedural posture of the PPI cases, no judicial resources will be wasted if these cases are transferred.”

Plaintiffs have suggested that the proposed multidistrict litigation be located in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana, where one proton pump inhibitor lawsuit has already been filed. They further note that no other multidistrict litigations are underway in the jurisdiction, “thereby ensuring proper resources and time necessary to manage this complex litigation.” The Motion also proposes the District of New Jersey, the Southern District of Illinois, the District of Kansas or the Western District of Louisiana as possible alternative venues for the centralized proceeding.

Proton Pump Inhibitor Side Effects

Proton pump inhibitors are a class of heartburn medications that includes Nexium, PrevAcid, Prilosec and others. They are intended for the short-term treatment of GERD and other disorders associated with the excess production of stomach acid.

Because these drugs are so widely used, most people give their safety little thought. However, proton pump inhibitors have been linked to a wide range of serious side effects, including certain bone fractures, magnesium and B12 deficiencies, and a type of drug-induced kidney inflammation called acute interstitial nephritis. Recent studies have also suggested that proton pump inhibitors may increase a patient’s risk for kidney failure and other renal problems, dementia and heart attacks.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is actively filing proton pump inhibitor lawsuits on behalf individuals who suffered kidney complications allegedly associated with the use of Nexium and other drugs in this class. To learn more, please call (888) 994-8177 to arrange for a free, no-obligation case review with a member of our legal team.

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