In August 2017 the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) granted a second motion for centralization or consolidation of federal court lawsuits brought by plaintiffs in proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) cases alleging kidney injury.
In more detail, the JPML established IN RE: PROTON-PUMP INHIBITOR PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION (NO. II) – MDL No. 2789. From the JPML’s Transfer Order filed on August 2, 2017 we get these details:
In the complaints in these 161 personal injury and wrongful death actions, plaintiffs allege that as a result of taking one or more proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), they or their decedents suffered kidney injury (e.g., chronic kidney disease (CKD), acute interstitial nephritis, end stage renal disease, or kidney failure). Plaintiffs allege that defendants failed to adequately warn of the negative effects and risks associated with PPIs….
Notably, during this second time around only one drug company, Takeda. was still opposed to the creation of any PPIs federal court MDL. But the JPML was not convinced by Takeda’s various arguments in opposition, as seen from this excerpt from the Transfer Order:
And, although it is true that AstraZeneca is sued in far more actions than Takeda, a significant number of actions are “mixed use” cases in which the plaintiffs allege use of more than one PPI, and sue Takeda and one or more other PPI manufacturers, including AstraZeneca. The prospect of additional cases against Takeda does not seem far-fetched . Given these circumstances, including the seemingly indivisible nature of plaintiffs’ alleged injuries in the “mixed use” cases, we decline to carve out from the MDL cases or claims against Takeda. [footnotes omitted]
Lastly, this point – which may have been a factor for the JPML when ruling this time on the Prilosec / Prevacid / Nexium federal court MDL consolidation – was mentioned in a footnote for the August 2017 Transfer Order: “The variety of alleged kidney injuries arguably has diminished, as most plaintiffs allege that they suffer from [chronic kidney disease (CKD)]….”
We continue to monitor legal and medical developments regarding the drug injury aspects of Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec.
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