Zantac Lawsuits in New York Consolidated
More than 40 Zantac lawsuits pending in New York have been consolidated by New York’s Litigation Coordinating Panel on January 26. The plaintiffs in the lead case of Samuel v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al filed a motion for coordination in October 2022, and in November the defendants filed their response, stating they do not oppose coordination of pretrial proceedings. Attorneys representing Samuel and other plaintiffs released a statement saying “We are pleased that there will be a mass litigation coordinated in New York to pursue our clients’ Zantac claims in light of the unfortunate MDL court’s actions. This is a welcome alternative.”
Jason T. Brown of Brown LLC, who represents other plaintiffs in the now-consolidated action, said Thursday, “We look forward to having the opportunity to proceed with representing alleged cancer victims of Zantac in the consolidated litigation so they can have their day in court in New York.”
Federal Lawsuits Against Zantac Dismissed by Judge, Lawsuits filed in state courts nationwide will go to trial in 2023
After a federal judge’s controversial decision to dismiss all federal Zantac lawsuits, plaintiffs have joined together to file their claims in Delaware state courts, where the lawsuits remain viable. The Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) judge excluded all of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses and made his decision after finding that there was insufficient scientific evidence to establish that the recalled heartburn drug causes cancer under federal court system standards. As a result, all Zantac lawsuits pending in federal courts will be dismissed. Plaintiffs will likely appeal this decision. If the MDL judge’s decision to exclude plaintiffs’ expert testimony is reversed, claims may be reinstated and returned to the trial court.
State Court Zantac Lawsuits Continue
A complaint was filed last month in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware on behalf of 30 individuals against various makers of the drug, including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, Patheon Manufacturing Services, and DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The lawsuit states “Defendants were fully aware of the safety risks of Zantac, particularly the carcinogenic potential of Zantac as it transforms into NDMA within the chemical environment of the human body. Nonetheless, Defendants deliberately crafted their label, marketing, and promotion to mislead consumers.”
There are still approximately 50,000 Zantac lawsuits still pending in state courts nationwide. One bladder cancer lawsuit filed by James Goetz was expected to start in February 2023, however a settlement has been reached to resolve the case.
California state court Zantac trials are scheduled to go before juries in May, August, and October this year. Successful lawsuits will put pressure on the drug companies to negotiate settlements.