Positive News for Zantac MDL, Upcoming CPAP Deadlines, Camp Lejeune and More Mass Tort News! -Tort Talk Thursday 6/6/24

By Susan Barfield
June 6, 2024

Susan B (0:00:06) – Hello, everyone. Welcome to another week of Tort Talk Thursday with  Joe Fantini from Rosen Injury Lawyers.. Joe, as always, thank you so much for taking time to meet with me and talk with industry about what’s new and all things mass torts.

Joe F. (0:00:21) – Thanks for having me, Susan. Excited to talk about the latest developments with you on mass torts.

Susan B (0:00:26) – Yeah. Why don’t we start off, Joe? I’m interested to learn if anything new has transpired since last week on Zantac.

Joe F. (0:00:33) – Yeah. Zantac, we got some great news last week. As you remember, we were waiting on the Daubert ruling from Delaware. So in Delaware, we have about 72,000 cases pending. So previously in the MDL, the litigation ended there, when the judge kicked out all of our experts. But fortunately, in Delaware, the judge consider all of our experts which were all different than we previously submitted in the MDL and admitted all of the experts and is now allowing the cases to proceed with all 10 of our cancers that were presented. So this is excellent news. We’ve already been working on the initial 300 bellwether cases, which is gonna involve a sampling of all the 10 different cancers. Obviously, the defendants were upset about this ruling. We’re hearing they’re gonna try to do immediate appeal. But while that’s going on, we’re gonna be working up the cases in Delaware, and then we also have a couple other trials scheduled to kick off soon in Illinois in the summer. And then meanwhile in California, the defendants continue to settle the cases that got worked up for Bellwethers. So, fortunately, all the momentum’s now back on the plaintiff’s side. I don’t think we’ll have a global settlement this year, but maybe next year we could reach that point.

Susan B (0:01:44) – Yep. That is great news. Let’s talk a little bit about CPAP. I know that there’s a deadline coming up, an ID order, and just wanna understand what do we do in the interim.

Joe F. (0:01:52) – Yeah. So CPAP, we had the settlement reached about a month ago now. We have a couple important deadlines coming up. The first one, like you mentioned, is June 10th. This is the identification order. So, basically, there’s a spreadsheet that you have to complete all of your cases that were on the registry, and other cases that were signed before April 29th that have a viable injury that is listed in the MSA. These can be completed and submitted. You have to submit that via the portal before the end of the day on June 10th. And then, basically, you have until December 10th, which is gonna be 6 months from that deadline to get together all of your records, your product identification of the treatment. So right now you should just be focusing on getting that ID order together, get it submitted, then we’ll hear from leadership and the claims administrator probably about a month from now about the specific type of records and injuries that are needed, but get that ID order together. If you have questions on anybody, I just go ahead and submit them just so they don’t miss out.

Susan B (0:02:51) – Yeah. Exactly. Okay. One of your favorite, litigations is Bard Hernia Mesh. Tell us what’s going on with Bard and potentially talk about some of the other mesh litigations.

Joe F. (0:03:03) – Yeah. Bard, we didn’t reach a settlement by the May 24th deadline that the MDL judge had set. So what we have going on now is by June 24th, the parties have to submit proposals on how to remand the over 20,000 cases that are pending in the MDL. What I’m hearing is the plaintiffs are proposing a 1,000 or 2,000 remands initially that will go back to the federal courts all across the country. We’re hearing that negotiations are still ongoing, so there’s still the opportunity for a settlement to be reached here. But after we submit those proposals, get in front of the judge, we’ll have a little bit more pressure hopefully on the defendants, and we can get a resolution of that case. While we have that going on, the other big player here, as you know, is Covidien. They have about 25% of the market share. So we have litigation ongoing in Massachusetts state court and then also MDL also pending in Massachusetts. We’re working on the bellwether process in the state court. The cases have been really chopped down now. We have about 8 bellwether cases left. We’re gonna finish up the fact discovery soon, get our expert reports together. And then by the Q1 in 2025, we’ll identify the cases to go to trial. And then I expect the 1st committee in trial to kick off about a year from now. So it’s good to hear that litigation’s moving forward as well.

Susan B (0:04:22) – Fantastic. Last litigation to kinda give us an update on is Camp Lejeune. What are you what are you hearing on Camp Lejeune?

Joe F. (0:04:28) – Camp Lejeune, we have the 2 year deadline coming up soon here in August. So that’s the deadline to submit your case for the administrative claims. As everybody knows, you have to first submit that 6 month window, and then you can move forward with filing the case in the federal court. Right now, we have about 225,000 administrative claims that have been submitted. So far, I’m hearing word that there’s only been about $10,000,000 paid out as part of that quick claim process. You know, unfortunately, that didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped. So it looks like these cases are gonna really need to be litigated. What’s going on now is we have those tier one injury cases that have been identified, and we’re working on finalizing the bellwether discovery process for that. Looks like discovery will be ongoing throughout the end of this year. First trials might be in the Q1 of 2025, more likely in the Q2, but those cases are really gonna need to go forward. I think what the defendants, the government real here is looking to see how many total claims are there gonna be before they get serious about potential resolution. But those cases are moving forward. Get your administrative claims filed if you have any cases before the deadline.

Susan B (0:05:39) – Awesome. As always, Joe, thank you so much for taking time to meet with us and give us some quick hits and news, week over week.

Joe F. (0:05:46) – Thanks for having me, Susan.

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