In June, attorneys representing some of the 172 claims against proton pump inhibitor (PPI) manufacturers filed a new motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML)requesting the cases be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). A previous motion to consolidate 15 cases was denied earlier this year. Yet, patients who filed the new request believe they have addressed the JPML’s concerns with an increased number of similar claims
Plaintiffs’ claims seek to hold PPI manufacturers accountable for failing to warn about the possible kidney damage they developed after taking PPIs.
Beasley Allen previously explained that PPIs are heartburn drugs that have been sold to treat acid-related disorders since the 1980s. The most commonly prescribed are Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, which consumers can now purchase over-the-counter. Evidence of adverse side effects, some life threatening, continues to grow, linking PPI use to Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN), inflammation in the spaces between the kidney tubules, and an increased risk of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI or Acute Renal Failure) and Chronic Kidney Disease.
The renewed motion proposes that the MDL be established in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey since a significant number (62) of the cases are already filed in that district. The cases filed in New Jersey and those filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois have currently progressed further than those in other locations.
The new motion also addresses additional concerns the JPML described when it denied the first request. Although the defendants vary in the claims, the plaintiffs’ claims involve only seven products with five defendant groups – like other complex cases where MDLs were established.
An MDL consolidates many cases with similar claims so that certain overarching issues can be addressed at one time in a centralized location. The claims usually arise in different states and become subject to varying state laws. An MDL streamlines the process, reducing the duplication within the judicial system. It also spreads the significant costs each plaintiff must bear across the board, making justice more accessible for those injured by a company’s product or bad corporate behavior.
Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating cases involving PPI use and AIN, AKI or Acute Renal Failure, and Chronic Kidney Disease. If you would like more information, contact Liz Eiland, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Liz.Eiland@beasleyallen.com.