Posted by : Irvin Jackson
The federal dismissal does not directly affect Zantac lawsuits filed in state courts nationwide, where cases are scheduled to go to trial throughout 2023.
Following a federal judge’s controversial decision to dismiss of all Zantac lawsuits, after finding that there was insufficient scientific evidence to establish the recalled heartburn drug causes cancer under standards employed in the federal court system, dozens of plaintiffs have joined together to file their claims in Delaware state courts, where the lawsuits remain viable.
A complaint (PDF) filed late last month in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware was brought on behalf of 30 individuals who each allege they developed cancer from Zantac, pursuing claims against various different drug makers as the defendants, including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, Patheon Manufacturing Services and DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Zantac (ranitidine) was used by millions of Americans for treatment of heartburn and acid reflux, before it was removed from the market in late 2019, following a discovery that the active pharmaceutical ingredient is inherently unstable, and produces high levels of the chemical byproduct N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a potent human carcinogen.
GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Sanofi and various other manufacturers, distributors and retailers involved in the sale of brand name or generic ranitidine pills have faced more than 100,000 Zantac lawsuits brought by former users who indicate they have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer or other injuries, as NDMA moved through their body.
Side effects of Zantac may increase the risk of cancer, due to chemical impurities found in the heartburn drug.
Given common questions of fact and law raised in cases brought in U.S. District Courts nationwide, the federal Zantac litigation was centralized before Judge Robin L. Rosenberg in the Southern District of Florida, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. However, thousands of claims have also been filed in various state courts nationwide, including California, Delaware and other venues.
On December 6, Judge Rosenberg issued an unexpected ruling, determining that all of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses were excluded from testifying at trial under the federal standards for admissibility of causation evidence, which left federal plaintiffs without any means of proving the recalled Zantac pills caused their concern.
As a result of the ruling, all Zantac lawsuits pending in the federal court system will be dismissed, and plaintiffs have initiated a lengthy appeals process to challenge the ruling. However, the decision will not have any impact on lawsuits pending in various state courts, where different standards for the admissibility of expert witness testimony apply.
State Court Zantac Lawsuits Continue
The federal court ruling did not result in the dismissal of claims pending in various different state courts, each of which follows variations on the standards for expert testimony to be admissible and presented to juries.
In this recent Delaware Zantac lawsuits, plaintiffs each allege they developed various types of cancer after using the forms of Zantac marketed for prevention and treatment of heartburn, arguing that the drug manufacturers knew or should have known about the presence of NDMA in Zantac and its cancer risks.
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, the lawsuit states. Nonetheless, Defendants deliberately crafted their label, marketing, and promotion to mislead consumers.
Zantac Lawsuit January 2023 Update
There are an estimated 50,000 Zantac lawsuits still pending in state courts nationwide, with the first cases expected to before juries in various different venues throughout 2023.
A Zantac bladder cancer lawsuit filed by James Goetz was initially expected to begin in February 2023. However, days after the federal litigation was dismissed, Sanofi and Pfizer announced that a Zantac settlement was reached to resolve the case, rather than defending the safety of their drug before a jury. However, no details on the amount of the Zantac settlement have been released.
Additional California state court Zantac trials are expected to begin later this year, with cases previously scheduled to go before juries on May 1, 2023, August 7, 2023 and October 23, 2023.
These trials will be closely watched by parties involved in the litigation, and may provide a bellwether to help gauge how juries will respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the remaining state court cases.
If plaintiffs can establish that they can succeed with their claims before juries, it will increase pressure on the drug makers to negotiate Zantac settlements, including potential resolutions for claims that are pending on appeal and may later be reinstated and returned back to the trial court if the MDL judge’s controversial decision to exclude plaintiffs’ expert testimony is reversed.
The post Zantac Lawsuit Filed By Dozens of Plaintiffs in Delaware State Court After Federal MDL Dismissed appeared first on AboutLawsuits.com.
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