Nexium, or esomeprazole, is a drug that is used to treat heartburn and excessive amounts of acid in the stomach. Specifically, it is used to treat duodenal and gastric ulcers, esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Other drugs that are in the same class as Nexium include Prevacid and Prilosec. Approximately 15 million Americans use PPIs that are sold both as prescription and over-the-counter. Nexium sales exceed $3 billion a year.
Nexium Class Action Lawsuit Updates
August 2022: Defendants in the PPI MDL had moved to dismiss all failure to warn claims in the PPI class action lawsuit because they are preempted. The argument, and it is a weak one, is that because the FDA (a federal agency) approved the warning labels, state law claims cannot be brought.
Our lawyers talked about this in the last update in June – this motion is crucial because the crux of this class action lawsuit is that you knew of this problem with kidney injuries yet you did not change their product, instructions, guidelines, or, most importantly, warn doctors of the risk.
The Special Master in the MDL likely put this issue to bed in the Prilosec-Nexium class action lawsuit. issued a report to the MDL Judge recommending that this argument be rejected because the defendants cannot show that the FDA would have rejected proposals for stronger warnings about kidney damage. The first bellwether trial in the MDL is set for November.
June 2022: The defendants in the Nexium-Prilosec PPI class action MDL have filed motions for summary judgment in the upcoming bellwether test trials. The primary legal argument in this motion is based on a doctrine called federal preemption. The preemption doctrine holds that victims are blocked from bring tort lawsuits under state law if there is a federal law that protects the defendants from liability. The Special Master in the MDL recently allowed both parties to submit additional briefing to address how a recently decided case on the preemption issue (In re Fosamax Alendronate Prod. Liab. Lit.) could potentially impact the issues in the Nexium-Priolsec cases. Our lawyers have read the Fosamax case (which rules in favor of defendants on a preemption argument) and in our opinion it is not applicable to the issues in the PPI cases.
April 2022: There are around 13,500 lawsuits pending in the Nexium-Prilosec PPI class action MDL. The first trial will be in October. The hope is that a few trials will set settlement amounts for Nexium kidney lawsuits. But many class action lawsuits – at least lately – have had trials and the parties still could not agree to a settlement amount for the victims. So the judge, in this case, wants to keep the pressure on the lawyers. So if a global settlement is not reached, the MDL Judge has identified a group of 200 cases that the parties will be preparing for trial over the next 16 months.
- These drugs have had a troubled history. Zantac, which was long considered a great and safe drug, has now been associated with cancer.
Problems with Nexium
Nexium is a controversial drug. At one point, bone fracture lawsuits were all the rage because there was data suggesting Nexium, particularly the long-term use of Nexium, would cause bone fractures and breaks. Our lawyers believed many of these lawsuits were meritorious. But the litigation did not get very far.