On Monday, June 22, 2020, the Plaintiffs' Leadership, spearheaded by Co-Lead Counsel Bobby Gilbert (Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert), Mike McGlamry (Pope McGlamry), Tracy Finken (Anapol Weiss), and Adam Pulaski (Pulaski Kherkher), filed three complaints in In Re: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924: the Master Personal Injury Complaint; Consolidated Consumer Class Action Complaint; and Third Party Payor Consolidated Complaint. The Complaints can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3fTm7DK
The Master Personal Injury Complaint ("Master PI Complaint") covers those plaintiffs who have already developed cancer as a result of taking Zantac/Ranitidine medication designed, manufactured, tested, marketed, distributed, stored and sold by a number of defendants. In addition to the four brand manufacturers, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("BI"), GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK"), Pfizer and Sanofi, the Master PI Complaint names 33 generic manufacturers, 4 distributors, 25 retailers, and 3 repackagers as defendants. The causes of action alleged in the Master PI Complaint include various Strict Products Liability, Negligence, and Breach of Warranty claims, as well as Loss of Consortium, Survival and Wrongful Death claims. According to Co-Lead Mike McGlamry: "This product had been on the market for a long time and made its manufacturers and retailers billions of dollars until the FDA (and regulatory agencies around the world) directed that it be immediately withdrawn after testing revealed exceedingly high levels of the known carcinogen NDMA in Zantac/Ranitidine. We represent many women, men and children who have been diagnosed with cancer after using this drug as directed by the drug makers."
The 1,371-page Consolidated Consumer Class Action Complaint ("Consumer Class Complaint") is brought by 238 plaintiffs on behalf of all persons in the United States and its territories who purchased and/or used Zantac/Ranitidine. The Consumer Class Complaint names targets most of the same defendants named in the Master PI Complaint, including BI, GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi, generic manufacturers, distributors, retailers and repackagers. The Consumer Class Complaint includes claims for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act and many state laws including consumer protection and false advertising statutes. As to the Consumer Class Complaint, Co-Lead Bobby Gilbert said: "Today marks the beginning of our search for the truth on behalf of millions of people across the United States who paid for a defective and dangerous drug and are now faced with the prospect of developing cancer after they took Zantac/Ranitidine as directed by the companies that made and sold it. This is yet another example of big business putting profits over the health and welfare of ordinary people."
The Consolidated Third Party Payor Class Complaint ("TPP Class Complaint") is brought by Plaintiffs NECA-IBEW Welfare Trust Fund, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union 630, and Indiana Laborers Welfare Fund on behalf of themselves and other similar third party payors throughout the United States that paid or reimbursed for defective and dangerous Zantac/Ranitidine products. The TPP Class Complaint asserts claims against BI, GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi, as well as 22 generic manufacturers. Those claims include violations of RICO and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Defendants have until August 23, 2020 to answer or move to dismiss the Master Complaints, either in whole or in part. The parties anticipate the Court will rule on any motions to dismiss by the end of this year. In the meantime, discovery in the sprawling case began on June 15, 2020 and will continue for the next 18 months.