Vetting the Initial Discovery PoolDefendants must notify the LPC of deficiencies in a CPF Bellwether Supplement within five days of receiving it. The plaintiff or claimant will then have two weeks to fix the deficiency. If a plaintiff or claimant fails to correct a deficiency by the deadline, Pretrial Order #69 states that the defendants may move to dismiss their case with prejudice. The defendants then have the option of selecting a substitute from the Bellwether Pool within three days.The parties have until March 1, 2022, to agree on eligibility criteria for the bellwether cases. At the October 25 hearing, they informed the court that these criteria would most likely relate to mistakes or misstatements, such as “when a Plaintiff asserts that he or she took ranitidine, but pharmacy records indicate that the Plaintiff took a different drug.”By August 1, 2022, the parties must provide the court with a list of people in the Initial Discovery Pool who do not meet the eligibility criteria. Plaintiffs and claimants who meet the eligibility criteria and who provided all information and documents on time and without deficiencies will be the “Final Discovery Pool.”DaubertMotionsBoth sides in the litigation submitted proposals for how bellwether selection should continue after the court rules on DaubertMotions. The court “decline[d] to adopt a post-Daubertprocess or schedule at this stage of the litigation.”Background of Zantac Litigation Until NowRanitidine, also known by its brand name Zantac, was one of the most widely prescribed and used medications for acid reflux, heartburn, and various related issues from the early 1980s until its recall by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020. It belongs to a group of drugs known as histamine H2-receptor antagonists or H2 blockers. These drugs provide relief from heartburn and other conditions by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced by the body.
Multiple scientific studies have linkedZantac with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical classified as a probable human carcinogen. Lawsuits allege that the drug has been responsible for numerous types of cancer, including the eight that are currently the subject of the MDL. The number of pending lawsuits against Zantac’s manufacturer and others began to increase dramatically in 2019. In anticipation of even more litigation, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created MDL 2924 on February 6, 2020.
The plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Master Personal Injury Complaint on August 2, 2021. The complaint names Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Sanofi as defendants. It asserts thirteen causes of action, including multiple products liability and negligence claims, unjust enrichment, loss of consortium, survival actions, and wrongful death.