As of Nov. 19, 2021, a consolidation of over 1,800 Zantac lawsuits in multidistrict litigation (MDL) was pending. Individuals who filed Zantac lawsuits claimed they had taken the popular heartburn drug for years, and as a result, they developed cancer.
In April 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requested all manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter Zantac, also known as ranitidine, remove the drug from the market after testing by the agency and a third party detected the presence of a cancer-causing compound, nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), in some samples.
Some individuals who have filed Zantac lawsuits did so before the recall was issued. Approximately two months before the recall was issued, Zantac lawsuits that were filed in federal court were consolidated and assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The judge overseeing the MDL, Robin L. Rosenberg, issued a pretrial order on Nov. 19, 2021 that included instructions to the parties to select 200 cases as part of the discovery pre-trial process, New York Injury Law News reported.
These first test cases, or bellwether trials, are scheduled for summer 2023. Plaintiffs selected for the first test cases must be Florida residents, where the MDL is assigned.
Unlike other mass torts in which the plaintiffs all have a similar type of cancer such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Roundup cancer litigation, plaintiffs in the Zantac MDL have several different types of cancer, including stomach, bladder, prostate, colorectal and pancreatic.
By August 1, 2022, the final list of eligible plaintiffs will be chosen by the parties involved in the MDL. Although Judge Rosenberg set the first bellwether trial for sometime in the summer of 2023, she indicated that the first trial could start sooner, per New York Injury Law News.
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