If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you’re probably wondering when juries will start hearing the thousands of lawsuits that are currently pending against manufacturers and distributors of the drug. It’s been more than two years since pharmacy company Valisure notified the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that its testing had uncovered dangerously high levels of NDMA in several different ranitidine products.
The short answer is that while cases are moving forward, it will be a while before we see trials.
What are Bellwether Trials?
A bellwether trial is a trial that takes place early in the process and helps the parties and the court learn more about what to expect as the cases progress. The process for choosing these cases differs depending on the court, the number of plaintiffs, and other factors. In the California JCCP, the plaintiffs choose two of the bellwether cases and the defendants choose two.
Both the plaintiffs and defendants will learn things from these cases that may change the way they present later cases. The outcome of these trials and how juries respond will also paint a clearer picture of the possible value of the claims and the likelihood that future plaintiffs will win their cases. The parties often use that information to arrive at settlement values that allow them to resolve many of the remaining cases without trial. That can speed up the process considerably, since cases resolved without trial won’t have to wait in line for their turn in front of a jury.
Litigants in the federal MDL and Zantac / ranitidine cancer cases in other states will also be watching the California cases carefully for indications about what they can expect at trial and how they may need to adapt their strategies.
Federal Zantac MDL Timeline
In June, the court restructured its orders regarding deadlines and case timelines. The change came in response to a request from plaintiffs to rewrite the timeline because of what they described as “consistent and widespread delays in the production of evidence” by the defendants.
The new case management order lays out dates for technical and behind-the-scenes aspects of the cases. One of these matters is determining how to choose the bellwether cases in the MDL. The parties will also be briefing and arguing pre-trial matters and exchanging information through the end of 2022.
That means we’re unlikely to see any of these cases reach trial until well into 2023, or even later.
You May Still Be Able to File a Zantac Lawsuit
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after taking ranitidine or you have lost a loved one to cancer after they took the drug, you may be entitled to compensation. But, your time to file is limited. The sooner you speak with a Zantac litigation attorney, the better prepared you’ll be to protect your rights and effectively pursue compensation.
You can get started right now by filling out the contact form on this page.
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