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January 13, 2020

First Bellwether Trial Scheduled Over Nexium, Prilosec, and Other PPI Kidney Injury Lawsuits

The U.S. District Judge presiding over the PPI Product Liability Litigation recently scheduled the first bellwether trial in this litigation to address common complaints of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn drugs causing kidney problems. Individuals filing injury lawsuit against PPI manufacturers allege heartburn drugs like Nexium, Prilosec, and others caused them to endure severe kidney injuries.

Over 15 million individuals are estimated to have been prescribed PPI medications for the treatment of heartburn, and many more take the over-the-counter versions. In recent years researchers have found increasing issues with PPI drugs, users claiming severe kidney injuries including acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), chronic kidney disease (CKD), and kidney failure.

Popular PPI heartburn medications include Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Protonix, and others that have risen to quick fame over the last decade. However, with the steady rise of problems health officials have found with these popular medications, millions of people could be at risk of developing severe health problems from taking PPI heartburn drugs.

Currently over 13,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and other PPI drugs. Each of these lawsuits claim the public and medical community were not adequately warned about the severe risks of taking PPI drugs, especially the risk of PPI heartburn medications contributing to kidney injuries.

As increasing PPI kidney injury lawsuits flooded into the federal courts, the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided to centralize the claims in New Jersey before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi as part of a multidistrict litigation.

As part of the pre-trial proceedings, Judge Cecchi released a case management order January 10 announcing the date of the first of six bellwether trials. The first trial is scheduled for November 15, 2021, with a generic discovery deadline of September 15, 2020.

While the outcome of this trial does not set precedence for following PPI kidney injury lawsuits, it will be closely watched by both parties to see how juries react to certain facts and evidence brought forth in the trial. If both parties cannot reach a settlement to the PPI kidney injury lawsuits by the end of the bellwether process, cases may eventually be remanded back to the courts they were originally filed in for future trial dates.

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