In December 2022, the judge overseeing consolidated Zantac cases in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) dismissed over 50,000 lawsuits, ruling that the scientific evidence linking the popular heartburn drug to various types of cancers was weak. However, more than 100,000 Zantac cases are pending in state courts, mainly in California, Delaware, Illinois and New York.
The five types of cancer that plaintiffs in the dismissed federal lawsuits alleged they developed because of taking Zantac are esophageal, bladder, stomach, liver, and pancreatic. In addition to these cancers, in state lawsuits, plaintiffs have claimed other types of cancer.
A California judge denied GSK Plc's (GSK.L) bid to keep expert testimony linking its discontinued heartburn drug Zantac to cancer out of an upcoming trial, a setback for the British drugmaker facing lawsuits over the medicine in courts across the United States.
Court Consolidates 40 Zantac Lawsuits Pending In New York State
The New York State Litigation Coordinating Panel ordered that 40 Zantac lawsuits be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in New York County. While a Coordinating Justice has not yet been named to oversee the litigation, all ongoing proceedings have been stayed until one is appointed.
In complex product liability litigation, where large numbers of claims raise similar allegations against the manufacturers of similar products, it is common for the claims to be consolidated so that the parties reduce duplicative discovery that would otherwise be repeated throughout large numbers of claims, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of common parties and witnesses involved in the litigation.
Much like a federal multidistrict litigation, except in this case at the state level, the cases filed in the New York mass litigation will remain independent claims, and following pretrial proceedings, if no resolution or settlement agreement has been reached, each case will be tried individually in its originating New York state court district.
Judge Appoints Four Attorneys to Lead 77,000 Zantac Cancer Cases in Delaware
isner Baum managing partner R. Brent Wisner will be co-lead trial counsel in the Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability litigation (Civil Action No. N22C-09-101 ZAN) in Delaware Superior Court.
Judge Vivian L. Medinilla named Wisner and three others to the leadership position in a Case Management Order that applies to all Zantac (generic: ranitidine) cancer cases currently pending in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware. Attorneys Jennifer A. Moore of the Moore Law Group, Raeann Warner of Jacobs & Crumplar, and Justin Parafinczuk of Parafinczuk Wolf will join Wisner in the plaintiffs' leadership, which is responsible for presenting the plaintiffs' position in all pretrial matters, initiating and coordinating pretrial discovery, and more.
"The formation of a new venue for these cases creates more opportunity for our clients and other people throughout the country stricken with cancer after taking a drug that we believe is dangerous," says attorney R. Brent Wisner. "We look forward to presenting evidence at trial that Zantac causes cancer, and that the defendants have known about the risks for decades."
"GSK's own scientists knew the risks Zantac posed to the public even before the FDA approved the drug," says attorney Jennifer A. Moore. "They should have warned about the risks but, sensing the potential for a billion-dollar blockbuster drug, the company chose profits over people. It's time for them to take responsibility for the harm they have caused."
First Zantac Lawsuit Case Reaches $500,000 Settlement
Joseph Bayer, the plaintiff in the first Zantac (ranitidine) trial, has voluntarily dismissed his own case. Reportedly, the dismissal came shortly before trial because of a settlement that he reached with some generic drugmakers. Reports indicate that in the months leading up to the trial, the generic drug makers each contributed to a settlement of more than $500,000 in the Bayer case.
Despite dropping the case at this time, Bayer can file again within a year according to his lawyer.