On January 26, a few weeks after a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida granted the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment in MDL 2924 (In Re: Zantac [Ranitidine] Products Liability Litigation), New York’s Litigation Coordinating Panel granted plaintiffs’ Motion for Coordination and consolidated 40 previously filed Zantac litigation cases in the Supreme Court, County of New York, involving the popular heartburn medication, Zantac.
In granting the motion on December 6, 2022, filed by defendants Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi, the judge presiding over the MDL, Judge Robin L. Rosenberg, ruled that the science supporting plaintiffs’ claims that Zantac causes cancer was unreliable; the decision effectively dismissed thousands of claims pending in both the MDL and the registry against the drug manufacturers. The ruling did not impact Zantac litigation cases filed against the manufacturers in state courts around the country although a subsequent ruling has determined there will be no appeals by plaintiffs who had not filed Zantac litigation cases but were on the registry.
The motion filed by the plaintiffs in New York requested “the pre-trial coordination…of actions brought by individuals and estate representatives across the State of New York…against various pharmaceutical companies…that developed, manufactured, sold and/or distributed ranitidine under the brand name Zantac or in its generic form”. The “brand” and generic” defendants subsequently submitted responses advising that they did not oppose the requested coordination.
There will be a stay on all proceedings until the parties can appear before the Coordinating Justice to agree on a schedule for pending motions and any other issues.