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Hair Relaxer, AFF, and Zantac Lawsuit Updates – Tort Talk Thursday 5/16/24

By Susan Barfield
May 16, 2024

Susan Barfield (0:00:06) – Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Tort Talk, Thursday, here every week with Joe Fantini of Rosen Injury Lawyers. Joe, as always, thanks so much for joining me today and giving us some highlights and updates on a few of the torts.
Joe Fantini (0:00:18) – Thanks for having me, Susan. Always love speaking with you on latest developments and mass torts.
Susan Barfield (0:00:23) – Yes, I think today’s agenda, we’re going to talk a little bit about AFFF, Zantac and hair relaxer. Why don’t we start off with AFFF? Share with us kind of what’s going on.
Joe Fantini (0:00:33) – Yeah, AFFF, one of my favorite mass torts here for 2024. Now that we’re focusing on the personal injury cases, we had CMO 28 we talked about previously, but the court just entered a bellwether schedule, so we’re getting forward to that. Basically, in the tier one cases involving the kidney, testicular cancer, thyroid disease, and ultracolitis, we’re focusing first on the kidney and testicular cancer cases, and then we’ll move on to those other injuries. Basically, discovery is going to be closed here shortly. We’re going to move on to expert discovery with our reports due before the end of 2024. And then the Daubert motion likely be held in the summer of 2025. So about a year from now, we’ll have a really good idea of when the trials are going to kick off. Those first trials will involve kidney cancer and testicular cancer. So if you’re getting cases, focus on those.
Susan Barfield (0:01:23) – Yeah. Good, good feedback. Okay, what about Zantac?
Joe Fantini (0:01:27) – Zantac. So we heard about a couple settlements. Basically, what’s going on there is we’re doing inventory settlements with different firms. So there’s been about 15,000 total cases settled so far. We have a big trial going on right now in Illinois, the first trial involving colorectal cancer. We’re probably expecting a verdict in the next week or so. While that’s going on, we’re still waiting for the decision from Delaware state court, where the majority of the cases are filed, over 70,000 pending there. We’re waiting on the judge’s Daubert ruling, which we expect here before the end of the summer. And then in Philadelphia, some exciting news just came down this week. We got our first trial date set. So we have four trials set beginning in 2025 in the first quarter. So that’s going to apply some more pressure to the defendants to get these cases resolved.
Susan Barfield (0:02:14) – Good. Yeah, that’s great news. Okay. And hair relaxer, what’s the latest that you’re hearing there?
Joe Fantini (0:02:20) – Yeah, hair relaxer. Another one of my favorite torts here. For 2024, we have about 8500 cases pending in the MdL. The MdL is focusing on the cancers, ovarian and uterine cancer. The first batch of the Pfses are completed. We’re meeting with the defendants here, and we’re going to identify the potential bellwether cases. So by the summer here, we’ll have the first batch of the bellwether cases selected, move forward with discovery there. While that’s going on in the MdL, we also now have a consolidated action in Georgia state court there. They’re actually exploring some injuries beyond the cancers, so there’s an opportunity to get involved. Also, we have a number of cases pending here in Illinois state court. So this litigation is really going to pick up here throughout the end of 2024, and hopefully we know something about the bellwether schedule before the end of the summer. Awesome.
Susan Barfield (0:03:13) – Well, fantastic. Joe, as always, I appreciate you taking time to update the industry and share your knowledge and the insights that you have on these different torts.
Joe Fantini (0:03:22) – My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Susan.

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