PPIs are some of the most common gastrointestinal medications on the market.
About 15 million people use them in the U.S. every year.
Unfortunately, they’ve also been associated with disastrous health issues like kidney failure, bone fractures, and even death.
As a result, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against PPI manufacturers. Have you taken PPIs and suspect your health has suffered as a result?
Keep reading to learn 8 essential things to know about PPI lawsuits.
1. A PPI Definition
PPI is short for proton pump inhibitor.
They’re a common type of medication used to treat gastrointestinal disorders. Available in prescription and over the counter forms, they’re used by millions of people in the US. They support of issues like heartburn.
Common forms include Dexilant, Nexium, and Prilosec. They’re made by a variety of companies, including Proctor & Gamble, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca.
2. Potential PPI Problems
It’s true that the FDA offers particular warnings for PPI usage.
Among others, they advise users not to take the medication for more than three 14-day courses throughout the year.
Likewise, manufacturers offer their own warnings against consumption is a variety of cases (e.g. if chest pain is common, there’s vomiting in the blood, or in combination with other certain types of medication).
However, each warning fails to address the widely reported and significant potential threats to health. Likewise, the medication has never been recalled, despite widely reported problems.
Indeed, on the ‘minor’ side, proton pump inhibitors have been associated with:
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Feeling sick
- Pain in the stomach
- Skin conditions such as rashes and itching
More worryingly, PPIs have been linked to a number of more debilitating (even life-threatening) conditions. These include:
- Acute kidney problems and chronic kidney disease
- Increased likelihood of strokes
- Bone fractures and Osteoporosis
- Artery damage and heart attacks
It is for these reasons that many people have filed lawsuits against PPI manufacturers.
3. Misleading Advertising
There’s a widespread belief that PPIs were marketed and sold in a misleading way.
Many people claim that the manufacturers of PPIs understood the risks. They suggest the drugs were sold for high profits in spite of the known dangers.
Furthermore, it’s suggested that these companies misinformed the public. People were sold the various PPIs without full knowledge of the potential harm to their health.
PPIs were advertised and sold as something safe for consumption. In effect, companies withheld the truth. In so doing, they contributed to the deleterious health impact felt by PPI users.
4. Prevalent PPI Lawsuits
The associated health problems and misleading marketing have led to legal claims from people around the country.
2 years ago, the cases were compiled into multidistrict litigation (MDL). There are now thousands of PPI lawsuits in Federal court and many more are expected to come.
All manner of brands and manufacturers are being sued as part of this process. The first bellwether trial will be held in September of next year.
5. Complex Situation
Unfortunately for lawyers, PPI cases are far from straight forward.
There are lots of moving parts.
In most lawsuits of this nature, the injury and its argued origins are both known from the beginning. That’s generally uncommon in PPI suits. Instead, claimants may have taken all sorts of medication for a wide array of initial injuries.
Indeed, they may have taken more than one variety of PPI over the course of treatment. As a result, the cause of ensuring health issues is harder to disentangle.
The evidence against a PPI manufacturer may seem objectively obvious. But the reality can be very different when trying to prove it.
6. Limited Time to File
It’s important for plaintiffs to start legal proceedings as soon as possible.
Indeed, there are time restrictions in place. Someone who wants to file a lawsuit may only have 2 years in which to do it. That’s 24 months from the point of diagnosis of the health problem.
If you suspect that your health issues are the result of PPIs, then it pays to consult a lawyer immediately. Leave it too long and your claim can be voided.
It’s true that state requirements for personal injury suits vary. Different states stipulate varying periods of time in which a claim must be made.
Yet the end result is the same: claimants should get the ball moving as soon as they can.
7. Time and Costs
Two common questions attorneys always get are:
- How long will the process take?
- How much will it cost?
It’s impossible to say. Each case is different. The complexity of PPI suits makes it even harder to make accurate projections.
That said, many firms will take these cases on a contingency basis. This is ideal for anyone who doesn’t have the cash to hand for a long and challenging court battle. It means the attorney takes their cut from the payout in the case of a legal victory.
There’s no upfront cost. They receive their fee from the settlement costs instead.
8. Past Significant Settlements
It’s worth noting the historic settlements made in this legal arena.
After all, anyone considering taking legal action needs to understand the likelihood of success/failure. We’ve already seen how many people have filed suits in relation to PPI-related issues. But what of their success-levels?
Importantly, manufacturers of PPIs have indeed lost numerous high-profile cases.
Over the last decade or so, they’ve paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers and the US government across numerous legal battles.
However, there’s also precedent for their court victories as well. From claims being dismissed to verdicts returned in their favor. It isn’t unheard of for PPI manufacturers to come out on top in court.
Be sure to speak with a legal professional to determine your likelihood of success.
Final Thoughts on PPI Lawsuits
There you have it: 8 essential things to know about PPI lawsuits.
As we’ve seen, PPIs are commonly used forms of medication in the United States. However, they’re also associated with a vast array of negative health implications.
Thousands of people have filed lawsuits seeking damages as a result. Hopefully, this article has highlighted everything you need to know about them.
Like this piece? Looking for more law-related content? Head to the lawyer section of the blog.