The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has entered an order consolidating the Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) MDL 2757 (Nexium, Prevacid, et al) on August 2, 2017 (see JPML Consolidation Order), assigning the PPI cases to Judge Claire Cecchi, US District Court of New Jersey. The case is In Re: Proton-Pump Inhibitor Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL No. 2757, where the case filings have significantly increased since the initial JPML hearing on January 26, 2017 when the Judicial Panel raised concerns over the number of defendants and related consolidation issues. The JPML ultimately denied MDL status 10 days later indicating that consolidation would be overly cumbersome; however, due to the large numbers of new suits and the refiling of a Motion to Consolidate, the JPML reached a different outcome during the July 27, 2017 consolidation hearings in Los Angeles. The hearing order listed over 163 cases in 28 federal district courts.
The drugs at issue include Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Protonix as well as potential the numerous generic manufacturers. The plaintiffs allege that PPIs cause kidney injuries including acute interstitial nephritis, chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. Concerns that these drugs have harmful side effects for users’ kidneys were brought to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by consumer advocacy groups.
More recent research led to stronger findings of a connection, including a scientific study published in January 2016 that said PPI use was independently linked to a 20% to 50% higher risk of chronic kidney disease. Plaintiffs have also brought allegations of renal failure being caused by the drugs. To date, more than 160 PPI cases have been filed by Plaintiff’s firms, and more could be added to that number as awareness of the association between PPI use and kidney damage continues to increase.
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