So far, 15 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts around the country alleging that a group of commonly-used heartburn medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) caused Plaintiffs to develop kidney disease. Lawyers anticipate that as many as 100 more cases will be filed in the coming weeks, with hundreds more to follow in 2017.
On Oct. 17, 2016, six of the federal-court Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Consolidation and Transfer, requesting that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidate the PPI cases in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. A multidistrict litigation (MDL) transfers all cases pending in federal court to one venue for purposes of pre-trial discovery. Consolidation serves the convenience of the parties, witnesses, counsel, and the judicial system.
An MDL can also promote fairness by avoiding the possibility of inconsistent pretrial rulings with respect to the scope of discovery, causation, and other factual and legal issues. While this allows Plaintiffs to work together on issues of science and discovery, each Plaintiff maintains his or her own action.
PPIs are a group of drugs that block the production of gastric acid. Currently, there are numerous drugs that fall into this category, including Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, with several options now available over-the-counter. PPIs were initially approved for short-term use for the treatment and prevention of gastric acid related conditions, including active duodenal ulcer, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), NSAID-associated gastric ulcers, and pathological hypersecretory conditions. They were later approved to treat frequent heartburn.
Beginning in the 1990s, studies have linked PPIs, including Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec, to kidney problems, including Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN). AIN is a condition where the spaces between the tubules of the kidney cells become inflamed. Later studies have shown that PPI users also have an increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). In December 2014, the labels of prescription PPIs were updated to include a warning about AIN. However, there is no such warning for the over-the-counter versions of these medications. Neither prescription nor over-the-counter PPI medications warn of the risk of CKD.
Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating cases involving PPI use and Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), Acute Kidney Injury (AKI or Acute Renal Failure), and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). If you would like more information, contact Roger Smith or Liz Eiland, lawyers in the Section at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com or Liz.Eiland@beasleyallen.com.
Sources: www.fda.gov and In re: Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2757, Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Transfer of Actions to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 and JPML Rule 7.2 for Coordinated and Consolidated Pretrial Proceedings (Oct. 17, 2016)
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.