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June 2024 Updates for Zantac, Ozempic & Bair Hugger Cases + the Top Legal Conferences to Attend This Year

By Susan Barfield
June 20, 2024

Susan Barfield (00:06):
Hello everyone. Welcome to another Tort Talk Thursday. As always, Joe, excited to be here with you and providing some great insights into the litigations.

Joe Fantini (00:15):
Thanks for having me, Susan. Always love talking with you and talking about the latest developments and all things mass tort.

Susan Barfield (00:22):
Yeah. Today we’re going to touch base on Zantac, Ozempic, and Bair Hugger. Why don’t we start out with Zantac, provide us with a little bit of update on what’s happening in that litigation.

Joe Fantini (00:33):
Yeah. Last we met, we talked about the great decision that came down in Delaware State Court where the judge allowed in all of our plaintiff experts and the 10 cancers we were pursuing are able to proceed. Obviously, the defendants aren’t happy about this at all. They want to try to file an interlocutory appeal. That process is going to play out. We’re continued to work up bellwether cases in Delaware while that’s ongoing. And then positive news is we have a number of Zantac trials scheduled throughout 2024, so out in Illinois where we had unfortunate that defendant first verdict. We have four cases that are ready to get tried here before the end of the year. We’ll have two going in the summer here and then some kicking off in the fall. And then in addition, we also have the first trial scheduled in Philadelphia in 2025. So a lot of momentum. Hopefully get some pressure on the defendants here. Maybe we’ll be talking about a resolution before the end of the year.

Susan Barfield (01:28):
Yeah, that’s very exciting for Zantac. Okay, so Ozempic, I know a new judge has been appointed to tell us a little bit about that.

Joe Fantini (01:34):
Right after the untimely passing of Judge Pratter down in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the JPML decided to transfer the case over to Judge Marsten. So Judge Marsten’s been a judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2019. A lot less experience than Judge Pratter, but we’re still excited about her experience as working as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Even some experience overseeing their narcotics and organized crime division. So Judge Marston wasted no time as soon as she was appointed, called everybody in for an in-person meeting. We’re going to gear up, get this litigation going back again, catch her up to speed. Hopefully before the end of the summer we’ll have a science day where we can get in front of her and explain how these medications are really hurting a lot of our clients.

Susan Barfield (02:22):
Great. And then the last litigation to talk about is Bair Hugger.

Joe Fantini (02:25):
Bair hugger. This is one of the mass torts that’s really been flying under the radar somehow for almost the last decade. So a long twisted history I’ll touch on real quickly. This MDL was first formed back in 2015, so we had the regular discovery, got all the way through experts. Unfortunately, the judge excluded all of our experts. The case seemed doomed in 2019. We appealed that up. Fortunately, we got a favorable decision by the A circuit revived. The MDL, everything was back on. The judges ruled in our favor in 2021. The cases started going forward again. There were some motions to exclude the judges, a lot of fighting between the parties, but fortunately it seems like we’re back on track now. We’re seeing several hundred cases being filed each month into this MDL Right now. We’re up to almost 7,000 cases. So there’s a lot of opportunity to get involved in this litigation as we move forward. We’re past the Dahlberg point. We should see some trials in 2025. So if you’re looking for a mass tour to get involved with, I think this is a good one to start looking into.

Susan Barfield (03:32):
Yeah, very interesting. Well, summer’s upon us and so is mass tort conference season. Why don’t you provide us a little update on the main conferences that are happening over the next few months?

Joe Fantini (03:43):
Yeah, so we’re back out on the conference circuit here. We’re going to have some coming up in June here. A really big one that everybody loves to go to is Mark Lanier’s Trial Academy conference coming up before the end of the month. We also have coming up the Legal Geek Conference later this month, and then the Harris Martin Milestone Conference going on in Buffalo. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that one?

Susan Barfield (04:05):
Yes, Case Works will be there. I’m excited. I was excited to see the lineup of speakers. There’s a lot of women in legal leadership that will be there speaking on the panels. As you mentioned, Milestone, which is a fantastic company. We’ll be sponsoring this event, so we’re really excited to be there, to be able to visit with the folks that are attending.

Joe Fantini (04:21):
Yeah, love Milestone, they’re great to work with. And then later coming up in July, we have the summer AAJ event down in Nashville. Thousands of plaintiffs lawyers down there, not just mass tort, all single event as well. So looking forward to seeing everybody there. And then when we get into the fall, which ones are you looking forward to the most then?

Susan Barfield (04:41):
Yeah, I mean towards the end of August, of course, the Texas Women’s, that’ll be a great conference. And of course, Mass Tort Made Perfect. That is in October.

Joe Fantini (04:50):
Yeah. Looking forward to seeing everybody this summer and fall. So stop by and say hi to me and Susan and the Case Works team. We’d love to meet everybody in person.

Susan Barfield (04:58):
Yep, absolutely. Awesome, Joe, thanks so much as always for spending a little bit of time on your Thursday morning to share the updates and insights on what’s going on in the world of Mass Torts.

Joe Fantini (05:07):
Thanks for having me.

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