Plaintiffs have filed thousands of PPI lawsuits, alleging that: drug manufacturers failed to adequately test their proton pump inhibitor products before releasing them to market; failed to warn the public of known risks; and used aggressive marketing tactics, putting profits above safety. Rutter Mills offers free consultations for anyone who has suffered a renal injury after using a drug like Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Dexilant, Zegerid, AcipHex, or Vimovo. Proton Pump Inhibitors were intended to treat gastric or peptic ulcer disease, which can be confirmed by imaging studies or bacterial cultures. Later, the FDA expanded their approvals to include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, gastric ulcer healing, prevention of NSAID-related ulcers, and treatment of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Doctors were soon prescribing the drugs for a wider range of stomach disorders and for a longer duration than had been studied. An increase in acute interstitial nephritis, kidney disease, and kidney failure soon followed.
No PPI Lawsuit Settlements Yet, But First Trial Is Scheduled
According to MDL 2789, before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in New Jersey, 8,452 cases out of 11,037 are still pending in court. So far there have been no PPI lawsuit settlements associated with the case consolidation. However, the first bellwether trial is scheduled for September 2020, giving additional plaintiffs plenty of time to get involved with the growing litigation.
PPI Lawsuit Settlements for Misbranding, Deceptive Advertising, and Kickbacks
Though there is yet to be a proton pump inhibitor lawsuit settlement for individuals directly injured by the drugs, there have been successful lawsuit settlements over complaints of misbranding, deceptive advertising, and illegal kickbacks.
- $7.9 million settlement paid by AstraZeneca over Nexium allegations – In 2015, AstraZeneca agreed to pay the U.S. government for devising hidden financial agreements with pharmacies to influence which drugs are available to patients. In addition to the kickbacks, AstraZeneca faced charges of a pay-for-delay scheme to prevent Teva Pharmaceuticals from releasing a generic version of Nexium at a lower cost. Teva Pharmaceuticals paid the government $24 million to absolve their liability in the case.
- $20 million settlement paid by AstraZeneca to consumers for deceptive advertising – A class action lawsuit resolved in February 2015 claimed the company spent $260 million on advertising that misled consumers to buy more expensive medicine by pushing their costly-but-chemically-identical drug Nexium as a replacement for Prilosec once the patent expired. Consumers who bought Nexium in Massachusetts between March 2001 and February 2013 were eligible for compensation.
- $26.7 million (plus interest) settlement paid by AstraZeneca for Medicaid fraud – The pharmaceutical company underpaid rebates owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and agreed to pay several states.
- $55 million (plus interest) settlement paid by Pfizer over Protonix misbranding charges – The U.S. Justice Department charged Pfizer with promoting Protonix to physicians for off-label and unapproved uses in 2012. Sales reps allegedly pushed the drug for symptomatic GERD, rather than esophageal erosion related GERD, for which it was approved. The company also claimed Protonix was the “best PPI for nighttime heartburn,” despite a lack of clinical evidence.
- $784 million settlement paid by Pfizer for Medicaid fraud – In 2016, Pfizer agreed to pay an enormous sum to the U.S. government after their marketing company hid drug discounts to avoid paying Medicaid millions of dollars in Protonix rebates.
Though these PPI settlements are not directly related to the product liability case, they could potentially be used in court to indicate a pattern of reckless disregard for patient safety in the pursuit of profits. Many of these former settlements and issues from the past are likely to come up in the latest MDL against manufacturers like Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Do You Qualify for A Proton Pump Inhibitor Lawsuit Settlement?
If you or a loved one have experienced kidney damage, bone fractures, or other serious side effects, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit to be included within the Multi-District Litigation. A successful lawsuit could provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and punitive damages.
After the first bellwether trial in September 2020, the strengths and weaknesses of the claims against PPI manufacturers will be exposed. Each lawsuit will be heard individually to determine validity and fair compensation, but these early trials often serve as precedents, shaping the way judges and juries are likely to react, or how manufacturers decide to settle the cases.
You will need to make one of the following product liability claims:
- The product was defective.
- There was a defect in the manufacturing process.
- The product lacked sufficient warning labels or instructions.
Additionally, you’ll need to prove:
- You suffered a serious injury after using the product.
- The product’s defect caused your injuries.
- The manufacturer owed a duty of care to you.
Plaintiffs can make the following allegations against the manufacturer:
- Negligence in breaching the duty of care to provide a safe product.
- Strict Liability based on the fact the injury occurred, whether there was negligence involved or not.
- Breach of Warranty that the product failed to perform in a specific way, up to federal standards.
The best way to know for sure whether you have a valid claim is to contact Rutter Mills directly to discuss your case. Most product liability cases are taken on a contingency basis only, meaning that you do not have to pay for the lawyer’s services unless you win a settlement or jury award.