News for Zantac Litigation, RoundUp Trials, Camp Lejeune & AFFF Case Status Updates – Tort Talk Thursday 5/9/24

By Susan Barfield
May 9, 2024

Susan B (0:00:06) – Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Tort Talk Thursday. I’m joined this week again with Joe Fantini from Rosen Injury Lawyers. Joe, as always, thanks so much for taking time to connect and share insights and updates with the industry.

Joe F. (0:00:21) – Thanks for having me, Susan. A lot going on, as always, in the world of mass torts.

Susan B (0:00:25) – Yeah, there always is. Why don’t we start off with Zantac. Tell us what’s going on in the world of Zantac.

Joe F. (0:00:30) – Yeah, Zantac. We got some breaking news coming out. It was just reported that Pfizer agreed to settle 10,000 cases. The details haven’t been released yet, but my understanding is it’s going to be pretty much all of the state court actions except those that are still pending in Delaware. We were waiting for the judge to rule on the admissibility of the experts. So this comes on the heel. Last month there was the settlement with Santa Fe for about 4000 cases that ended up being about for about $100 million. So right now we have these two defendants that are settling. That’s good news. And the reason why we got the settlements is the pressure’s on. So right now there’s a trial, the first trial in the United States going on out in Illinois state court. It’s going against GSK and BI. We have plaintiff who used Zantac for almost 20 years, developed colorectal cancer. We’re a week into the trial, so we’ll be watching that next week, maybe get a verdict or more than likely I’m anticipating we’ll have some sort of settlement there. So good news on the Zantac front.

Susan B (0:01:32) – Yep, sounds like things are progressing. What are you hearing as it relates to Roundup?

Joe F. (0:01:37) – Roundup, we had a little bit of lull at the last couple months with no trials. But recently a trial kicked off last week in Missouri, St. Louis, where the majority of the cases are pending, here in St. Louis. There’s about 40,000 cases there out of the 55,000 across the country. So the trial, jury selection began, the trial ended. So my understanding is that there was a settlement in that case. Details haven’t been released, but there’s a lot of action and a lot of pressure here on Monsanto with trials coming up in Missouri. There’s another number of trials this summer. We have one kicking off soon here in Philadelphia and then also in California. So we’ll have at least a half dozen verdicts before the end of 2024. Applying some good pressure here to the defendants, hopefully bringing about a resolution. I’m anticipating beginning of 2025.

Susan B (0:02:27) – Yeah, that’s. That’s good news. Okay. The. The last couple of torts that want to hear about is Camp Lejeune and AFFF.

Joe F. (0:02:34) – Camp Lejeune. We’ll start with this elective payment option. So a lot of buzz around it when it first came out. We’re many months into it right now, and reports are indicating there’s been 40 total cases that have been paid a total of $9.6 million. The settlements range from 150 to 300,000. Pretty much it comes down to the individual plaintiff if they want to accept the offer. There’s another dozen or so offers out there pending, but it doesn’t seem like we’re gonna have a huge resolution with those cases via that early payment option. So what’s going on is there’s an upcoming case management conference. Seems like the court’s getting a little bit more involved with how we can use some of those trial verdicts to bring about a resolution of the whole entire litigation. So we’ll see how that plays out. And then we’re also gonna be working towards completing the initial discovery in the tier one cases. Looking like we’ll have the first Lejeune trial again this time next year.

Susan B (3:31:01) Okay, what’s going on with AFFF?

Joe F. (3:33:08) AFFF again, this is my favorite litigation right now. Besides Roundup, a lot of cases being filed in light of that CMO 28 that essentially establishing tolling if you filed a non top tier case. So what’s going on now is there was a deadline that the party submitted a joint motion for an extension until early July to submit these tier two injuries. So these are going to be the ones outside of the top four that then are going to move forward through discovery. It looks like the discovery in those tier one cases as it relates to the fact discovery should be completed this year. We’ll have expert discovery kickoff thereafter, and we’ll have a better snapshot in probably two months about which cancers are in which cancers are out.

Susan B (0:04:15) – Awesome. Joe, as always, grateful for you to take a few minutes to share what’s going on this week in the mass tort industry. Thanks so much. We really appreciate it.

Joe F. (0:04:23) – Thanks for having me, Susan.

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