Protecting the Legal Rights of People Victimized by Defective Heartburn and Acid Reflux Medication
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs that are commonly used to treat individuals with chronic heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These drugs reduce the amount of acid that a person’s stomach produces by blocking certain enzymes. While stomach acid is necessary for the digestive process, excess acid can cause pain, discomfort, and serious ulcers that may cause significant complications. These drugs are sold under a variety of brand names, including the following:
• Prilosec (omeprazole)
• Protonix (pantoprazole)
• Prevacid (lansoprazole)
• Aciphex (rabeprazole)
• Nexium (esomeprazole)
• Zegerid (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate)
What Kinds of Injuries can PPI Drugs Cause?
Long-term use of PPI drugs has been linked to a variety of health issues, including causing problems with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Some of the side effects associated with taking PPIs include the following:
• Abdominal pain
Perhaps most alarmingly, a study published early in 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) linked the use of proton pump inhibitor drugs to the development of chronic kidney disease. The study, which involved more than 10,000 participants, found taking PPIs increased the risk of kidney disease by 20 to 50 percent. In addition, the researchers found that taking the drugs more frequently resulted in a greater risk for adverse issues.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxic substances from the blood stream. If they are damaged or fail, a number of symptoms could occur, including the following:
• High blood pressure
• Retention of fluids
• Electrolyte imbalance
• Heart failure
• Abnormal heart rhythm
• Fluid in the lungs
• Persistent itching
• Changes in urine output
If you have experienced these or any other symptoms that may be related to chronic kidney disease, you should contact a physician as soon as you can.
Defective Drug Lawsuits can Raise a Variety of Legal Issues
When you seek medical treatment and take a drug that has been manufactured to treat a particular medical condition, you rightfully assume that the drug is safe to take or that you have been adequately warned about any risks associated with taking a particular medication. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and every year thousands of unsuspecting victims are seriously injured by taking drugs that are defective in some way.
As is the case with other types of personal injury cases caused by other parties, people who are injured by the negligence of drug companies can often recover compensation for their losses. The kinds of losses that may be recovered in a lawsuit arising from injuries caused by the use of PPI drugs include the following:
• Past, current, and future medical expenses
• Lost income
• Loss of future earning potential
• Physical and emotional pain and suffering
• Loss of enjoyment of life
In some cases, you may even be able to pursue punitive damages in a defective drug lawsuit, which are intended to punish drug companies for particularly egregious behavior and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. These damages can often result in significant recovery for plaintiffs and can be well into the tens of millions of dollars.
Obtaining compensation after developing a disease caused by PPIs is not as simple as alerting the drug manufacturer to your situation and waiting for a check. In many cases, victims need to fight for their right to recover and may be required to bring the drug manufacturer to court. For this reason, it is extremely important for victims to retain an attorney to help navigate the complicated issues that often arise in defective drug cases. Some of these issues are discussed in further detail below.
Statutes of limitations – Statutes of limitations operate to limit the amount of time that a plaintiff has to bring a claim after a particular event. If you fail to file your claim within the time limit, you will likely lose your ability to bring a claim. As a result, it is critical to speak with an attorney as soon as you recognize that you may have a legal claim based on a defective drug injury.
Establishing Negligence – In order to recover compensation based on a defective drug claim, victims need to show that the drug company was negligent in some way. There are generally three theories of negligence under which defective drug cases proceed:
• The company sold a defectively designed drug
• The company sold a defectively manufactured drug
• The company sold a drug without providing the public with adequate warnings about the dangers
Proving causation – In addition to establishing negligence, victims also need to be able to show that their medical condition was caused by the drug in order to recover compensation. It is not enough to show that your medical condition occurred after you started taking the medication – in most cases, it is necessary to bring in expert witnesses that will testify to the fact that taking the medication actually caused the injury you sustained.
Call a California Proton Pump Inhibitor Attorney Today to Discuss Your Options
If you or a loved one has developed chronic kidney disease after using a proton pump inhibitor drug, you should contact an experienced attorney. The lawyers of GJEL will review your case at no cost to you and advise you as to whether you have a claim. In addition, you will not pay anything for legal representation unless we successfully recover on your behalf.
We are committed to holding negligent drug companies liable for the injuries they cause and strive to obtain the largest settlement or award in each case we take. We have a track record of success, having recovered in more than 99 percent of our cases for approximately $850 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced PPI lawsuit lawyers, call GJEL Accident Attorneys today at 866-218-3776 or send us an email through our online contact form.