Nexium Kidney Damage Bellwether Trial Pushed Back to March 2023, Amid Settlement Talks

Bellwether jury trial for the first Nexium kidney damage lawsuit was originally scheduled to begin on November 14, 2022. However, the start has been postponed as parties meet to discuss settlement

  • More than 13,350 lawsuits are pending over kidney damage from Nexium and other PPI drugs
  • Three early bellwether jury trials will now begin in March, April and May 2023
  • Judge ordered a series of settlement talks weeks before delaying trials

Only a few weeks after ordering the parties to meet for a series of settlement talks, the U.S. District Judge presiding over all Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits, and other claims involving kidney damage caused by popular proton pump inhibitor (PPI) heartburn drugs, has pushed back the start of the first “bellwether” jury case from November 2022 until March 2023.

Proton pump inhibitor medications include some of the most widely recognized brand-name drugs on the market in the United States, including blockbuster treatments like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant and others, which have been used by millions of Americans for treatment of acid reflux and heart burn.

While the drugs have been promoted for years as safe and effective, leading many to believe they carry few serious side effects, plaintiffs allege that they have been left with acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal failure and other side effects from Nexium, Prilosec and other PPI medications, indicating that the problems could have been avoided if proper warnings had been provided about the risks associated with long-term use.

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Given common questions of fact and law raised in thousands of complaints brought throughout the federal court system, the litigation has been centralized before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in New Jersey since late 2019, as part of an MDL or multi-district litigation.

Bellwether Jury Trial Involving Nexium Kidney Damage

Following coordinated discovery into common issues that impact all of the cases, Judge Cecchi established a “bellwether” program where a small group of lawsuits that are representative issues raised throughout the claims have gone through case-specific discovery and been prepared for a series of early trial dates.

The first Nexium bellwether trial was previously expected to go before a jury beginning on November 14, involving a lawsuit filed by James Rieder, who developed chronic kidney disease after using the drug for nearly five years.

That trial is expected to be followed by at least two other bellwether cases, to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, the start of the first Nexium jury trial has now been delayed until at least March 1, 2023.

Revised Jury Trial Schedule

In a case management order (PDF) issued on October 14, Judge Cecchi announced the Reider trial will now begin March 1, 2023, or 30 days after the Court decides on summary judgment and Daubert motions, whichever comes later.

This delay means that the second trial, which was previously set to begin in March 2023, has been postponed until at least April 10, 2023; and a third bellwether trial has been pushed back from an original April 2023 start date until May 15, 2023.

The order did not give details on the reasons for the trial delays.

October 2022 Nexium Settlement Update

Last month, Judge Cecchi ordered the parties to engage in a Nexium settlement conference with GlaxoSmithKline on September 29, to explore a potential resolution of the litigation before the first bellwether trial, That mediation session with a Special Master was to be followed by additional settlement talks with makers of Prilosec, Protonix and other PPI drugs, including representatives of AstraZeneca and Merck on September 30, Pfizr on October 19, Proctor & Gamble on October 20, and Takeda and Abbott on October 21, 2022.

The outcome of the first attempt to settle Nexium kidney damages has not been publicly disclosed by the Court, but it appears likely that a delay in the start of the first bellwether trial will provide additional time for the parties to determine whether any global settlement or resolution can be reached to resolve large numbers of cases.

Following the initial bellwether trials, Judge Cecchi has also had the parties select a second group of 20 cases that are being prepared for trials, and two large waves of 100 lawsuits each were selected for case-specific discovery in April 2022.

If a settlement is not reached by March 2023, the first Nexium kidney damage bellwether trial is expected to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, following the subsequent trials in April and May 2023, if the parties still have not made progress settling claims, Judge Cecchi may start remanding individual cases back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trials.


  • HeleneMarch 20, 2023 at 9:36 am

    How long should a patient stay on Nexium to avoid side effects?

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