A Zantac MDL (multi-district litigation) is a legal process that speeds up litigation for victims who got cancer from the recalled heartburn medication. The MDL lawsuit is filed against the Zantac manufacturers. But each plaintiff’s case remains separate with separate settlements.
Shouse Law Group is currently accepting clients who developed cancer as a side effect from taking Zantac or its generic ingredient ranitidine. Each lawsuit will join a Zantac MDL to expedite the settlement process.
In this article, our Zantac lawyers discuss:
- 1. What is an MDL?
- 2. How is it different from a class action?
- 3. Where are the Zantac MDLs?
- 4. When will the MDLs finish?
- 5. How big will the settlements be?
A multi-district litigation (MDL) is a mechanism that allows one federal court to handle multiple similar cases at the same time. Courts often rely on MDLs in “dangerous drug” cases since there are thousands of plaintiffs with similar complaints.
MDLs temporarily consolidate these cases during the pretrial stage. Then the judge will permit a few of them – usually four or five – to go to trial. These are called bellwether trials. How these bellwether trials turn out sets the stage for future negotiations.
After the bellwether trials, the defense attorneys begin a period of negotiation with the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
If the bellwether plaintiffs won and got a big verdict, the defendants will likely offer large settlements to the remaining plaintiffs. If the bellwether plaintiffs lost or won a small verdict, the defendants will likely offer more modest settlements or none at all.
MDLs usually take a few years from start to finish.
MDLs sound like class actions, but they are very different:
|One law firm represents the plaintiffs (usually).||Multiple law firms represent their own plaintiffs.|
|There is one lawsuit filed by several parties in one court.||There are multiple lawsuits filed by several plaintiffs in different courts. Then they are temporarily combined later on in one federal court.|
|All the parties must have suffered the same harm or been harmed from the same cause.||The plaintiffs may have different injuries, though the cases are similar.|
|The settlement or verdict (if there is one) is shared equally by every member of the class.||Each plaintiff gets his/her own settlement based on the specific details of his/her case (if there is a settlement).|
|Class action members are bound to the court’s decision unless they opt out.||MDL members can pursue their own lawsuit if they reject the settlement.|
Currently there is one Zantac MDL. It is located in the Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach). The MDL number is 2924. U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg is presiding. The defendants include:
- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;
- GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Pfizer Inc.;
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC;
- Sanofi US Services Inc.; and
- Chattem, Inc.
There may be other MDLs formed against other Zantac manufacturers and distributors. Things are still in early stages.
There is no way to predict. But settlements are not expected for at least a couple of years, if not longer. Currently, the court is scheduled to select bellwether cases for trial in May of 2021.
Zantac was recalled relatively recently, only in September of 2019. Many victims are still unaware that Zantac may have caused their cancer. Law firms are in the process of informing the general public about their legal options and gathering clients.
Anyone who may have developed cancer from taking Zantac should contact an attorney as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations to file suit. In some states, it may be as little as one or two years.
It is impossible to speculate before the bellwether trials finish. But ranitidine was one of the first drugs to make a billion dollars in sales. And cancer is among the most serious injuries. Therefore, plaintiffs’ attorneys will be fighting for the largest financial reward available to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
And if the plaintiff passes away, attorneys will also fight for money to cover funeral expenses and loss of support to the family.
Are you a Zantac victim? Contact us for help…
Developed cancer after you took Zantac? We are so sorry. We want to help you get through this.
Call our Zantac lawsuit attorneys or fill out the form on this page. We provide free consultations 24/7.
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