Trial Dates for Lawsuits Over Nexium, Prilosec Kidney Damage Pushed Back to October 2023
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all lawsuits over kidney damage caused by Nexium, Prilosec and other proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications has pushed back the start of the first bellwether trial until October 2023, amid ongoing settlement negotiations that may resolve thousands of claims currently pending in the federal court system.
Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) 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, nearly 13,000 Nexium lawsuits, Prilosec lawsuits, and other claims have been filed against the drug makers in recent years, each raising similar allegations that users were left with acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal failure and other side effects from PPI medications.
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.
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 of issues raised throughout the claims have gone through case-specific discovery and been prepared for a series of early trial dates.
Nexium, Prilosec Kidney Damage Lawsuit Bellwether Trials Delayed
The first Nexium bellwether trial was previously expected to go before a jury beginning on November 14, 2022, involving a lawsuit filed by James Rieder, who developed chronic kidney disease after using the drug for nearly five years. However, that trial was delayed until March of this year, and then was delayed again until June 2023. However, that trial date was also canceled.
In a case management order (PDF) issued on July 14, Judge Cecchi set a new trial date for Reider’s case for October 10 of this year.
The move resulted in the next two trials being delayed as well. A separate case management order (PDF) moves the second trial from its scheduled starting date of July 17, until November 28, 2023. A third order (PDF) reschedules the third bellwether trial from September 18 to January 9, 2024.
The second trial will involve a claim brought by David P. Foster, which was filed in 2017, alleging that he suffered chronic kidney disease and kidney failure due to the side effects of Nexium. Foster has since died, and his case is being presented by Angel Marie Lee, the administrator for his estate.
The third bellwether trial involves claims brought by Kevin Bales, who took Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, and indicates he suffered acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease as a result.
August 2023 Nexium, Prilosec Kidney Damage Lawsuit Update
The trials come after Nexium settlement efforts late last year, with a series of mediations involving a Special Master. While the outcome of those talks have not been publicly disclosed, it is believed the original delay in Rieder’s trial was to give parties more time to determine whether any global settlement or resolution could be reached to resolve a large number of cases before trials began.
Following the initial bellwether trials, Judge Cecchi has also had the parties select a second group of 20 cases that are being prepared for a second group of bellwether trials, and two large waves of 100 lawsuits each were selected for case-specific discovery in April 2022.
If a settlement is not reached before October 10, 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 later this year and next, 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.
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