Proton Pump Inhibitor Class Action: Why Private Lawsuits May Be A Better Option

Proton Pump Inhibitor Class Action: Why Private Lawsuits May Be A Better Option 2018-03-22T15:38:02+00:00
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The attorneys at Rosen Injury Lawyers are filing individual personal injury lawsuits on behalf of PPI patients, not a class action.

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Millions of patients may have suffered severe injuries because of these drugs.

— Laurence Rosen, Esq.

The attorneys at Rosen Injury Lawyers are filing individual personal injury lawsuits on behalf of PPI patients, not a class action.

  • Kidney damage
  • Wrongful death
  • Free legal consultation

You can learn more about your rights and options at no charge and no obligation. Contact our lawyers now.

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Millions of patients may have suffered severe injuries because of these drugs.

— Laurence Rosen, Esq.


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In hundreds of new lawsuits, patients from across the country say proton pump inhibitors, the world's most popular heartburn drugs, can lead to kidney failure.

Today, the manufacturers of Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid have all been drawn into court. So have the companies behind Zegerid and Dexilant. All of these drugs, known as a category as proton pump inhibitors, have been associated in medical studies to an increased risk for progressive kidney damage.

PPI Kidney Injury Litigation Is Not Class Action

In your research, you might have seen references to a proton pump inhibitor class action, or a Nexium class action lawsuit, or a Prilosec class action. The litigation around kidney injuries is not being pursued as a class action. Instead, plaintiffs are filing individual product liability lawsuits, pursuing financial damages on behalf of themselves and their loved ones.

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Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegerid and Dexilant all work to limit the production of stomach acid, providing short-term relief for the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers. However, longer treatment periods (as short as one year in some cases) may increase the likelihood of kidney failure.

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In their lawsuits, plaintiffs and families accuse a range of pharmaceutical manufacturers of failing to warn the public of this risk, despite an early understanding that proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, could cause acute interstitial nephritis, a form of kidney inflammation that can result in kidney failure.

Why PPI Lawyers Are Filing Individual Lawsuits

Class action isn't usually an appropriate legal model for cases involving severe personal injuries, like the injuries claimed in every proton pump inhibitor lawsuit.

The idea behind class action is that a single "representative" plaintiff can stand in for hundreds, thousands or millions of other people who have been harmed in a nearly-identical way. The representative plaintiff actually files and pursues the lawsuit, but they do so on behalf of "similarly-situated" individuals.

Those other people, who are known as class members, often don't even know that a lawsuit has been filed until it's over.

Personal Lawsuits For Personal Damages

Proton pump inhibitor lawsuits, on the other hand, are deeply personal. Each plaintiff claims to have suffered a wide range of damages, from the pain of suffering from a severe medical disorder to hospital bills and lost wages, but no two plaintiffs share the same claims. A class action just wouldn't be able to do these individual differences justice.

Far better is for each plaintiff to file their own lawsuit, allowing individual patients and families to retain complete control over their own share of the litigation.

What Is Multidistrict Litigation?

At the same time, the federal court system recognizes that bringing similar cases together, so that a single judge can make binding decisions that apply to everyone, is likely to promote greater efficiency. That's where Multidistrict Litigation comes in.

When multiple federal lawsuits share similar, or nearly-identical, allegations against a defendant, the cases can be transferred to a single jurisdiction for pre-trial proceedings. This legal mechanism is known as Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL.

PPI Claims Consolidated In New Jersey Federal Court

Federal proton pump inhibitors were transferred to the US District Court of New Jersey in 2017, bringing all of the plaintiffs to Newark. The cases are now moving through pre-trial proceedings as a group, allowing plaintiffs' attorneys to collaborate on developing legal strategies.

MDL Is A Gain For Efficiency, Not A Loss Of Control

Despite this process of centralization, each plaintiff continues to hold total control over the most important decisions involved in litigation.

Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL, just makes things more efficient. Since a single judge is now presiding over all of the lawsuits, there's no possibility of two federal judges issuing conflicting rulings on the same question. Instead of dragging important corporate employees into multiple depositions around the country, the plaintiffs can hold a single deposition, but share as a group in the evidence that was gathered.

AstraZeneca Settled Nexium Marketing Class Action In 2015

You'll still see references to a "PPI class action" or "Prevacid class action" around the web, but just remember that those people aren't talking about the current and growing litigation that involves kidney damage.

With that being said, there has been at least one proton pump inhibitor class action in the past. In 2015, global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which manufactures both Prilosec and Nexium, settled a class action for $20 million.

In the lawsuit, consumers accused the company of duping patients into paying for Nexium, a far-more expensive drug, when Prilosec was just as good at controlling stomach acid. Obviously, the case had nothing to do with kidney injuries.

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