Baum Hedlund Announces Leadership of California Zantac
ALAMEDA, Calif., June 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Plaintiffs with Zantac lawsuits alleging the heartburn medication causes certain types of cancers can pursue their claims in California state court as part of a newly established Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). This is the largest state court proceeding in the country involving Zantac (ranitidine).
On April 16, 2021, Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, issued an order assigning Superior Court of California, County of Alameda for all purposes to oversee and coordinate the legal proceedings of “Ranitidine Product Cases” JCCP 5150. The Presiding Judge of the California Superior Court then assigned Judge Winifred Y. Smith as the Coordination Trial Judge. Judge Smith is the same judge that presided over the California state Roundup cancer cases against Monsanto and the trial of the Pilliods v. Monsanto in the spring of 2019, resulting in the historic $2 billion verdict.
Today, we learned that Judge Smith issued an order assigning attorneys from six law firms to oversee and manage the litigation.
Baum Hedlund and Moore Law Group Appointed to Zantac JCCP Leadership
Judge Smith’s order appoints trial attorneys R. Brent Wisner of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman and Jennifer Moore (also admitted to practice law in California) of the Moore Law Group to the Zantac JCCP leadership as Plaintiffs’ Liaisons. Together, they will present the position of the plaintiffs in all pretrial matters, propose agenda items for case management conferences, draft case management orders, initiate and coordinate pretrial discovery, and submit and argue motions, among many other duties. They also serve as two of the Co-Chairs of the Zantac Litigation Group for AAJ – the American Association for Justice.
Attorneys Wisner and Moore participated in forming the federal Zantac MDL in January of 2020. Both attorneys were also integral parts of the Monsanto Roundup litigation and worked together on the Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Co. trial, the only federal case to go before a jury. Attorney Moore served as co-lead trial counsel for Mr. Hardeman, which resulted in an $80 million jury verdict. Attorney Wisner, who was co-lead trial counsel in two Roundup state court cases in California (Johnson and Pilliod), and won jury verdicts totaling more than $2.3 billion, also served on the trial team for Mr. Hardeman.
These hard earned court victories laid the groundwork for over $10 billion in settlements with Bayer (acquired Monsanto in 2018). According to Wisner, the Zantac litigation “will dwarf what we won in the Roundup litigation.”
“With the federal Zantac MDL and the new Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP in California state court, we are following the same path that we took with Roundup,” says Wisner. “Having multiple venues for these cases gets us one step closer to trial. We are looking forward to giving our clients their day in court.”
Dozens of plaintiffs originally filed Zantac lawsuits in California state courts. However, the defendants named in these lawsuits filed motions to transfer the cases into the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). More than 70,000 individual cases are registered in federal court before United States District Judge Robin Rosenberg for the Southern District of Florida In Re: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924, 20-MD-2924.
Attorneys Wisner and Moore had filed multiple remand motions to move dozens of cases out of federal court and back into California state court where they were initially filed. As of this writing, 62 complaints have been filed in the JCCP on behalf of 1,078 plaintiffs, with many more soon to be filed.
Individuals diagnosed with various forms of cancer after regularly taking Zantac may be eligible to pursue a case in the California Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP 5150. Some of the cancers in the Zantac JCCP include:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Esophageal / Throat
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
What is a JCCP?
Complex cases filed in more than one California county that stem from a common issue of fact or law may be transferred and consolidated to a single court under specific procedures and with the agreement of all of the parties. “JCCP” stands for Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings. This type of consolidated litigation is commonly referred to as a JCCP or Coordinated Proceedings.
Cases consolidated in a JCCP allow for pre-trial discovery, motions, and the first “bellwether” trials to happen in front of one presiding judge. A JCCP is similar to a federal MDL in that both provide unified management for the pretrial and trial phases of consolidated cases. The main difference between the federal Zantac MDL and the Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP is that the MDL cases are consolidated in Florida federal court and the JCCP cases are coordinated in California state court. The allegations against the makers of Zantac are largely similar in both proceedings.
Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP 5150
Several other colleagues will join attorneys Wisner and Moore in the plaintiffs’ leadership. Judge Smith appointed the following attorneys to the Ranitidine Product Cases JCCP 5150 Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) include:
Steven J. Brady
Brady Law Group of San Rafael, CA
Cynthia L. Garber
OnderLaw of Newport Beach, CA
Behram V. Parekh
Dalimonte Rueb Stoller of Los Angeles, CA
Bryant Law Center of Paducah, KY
The PEC will work closely with Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel to manage the litigation, including assisting in organizing subcommittees, delegating tasks to subcommittees, and assisting in scheduling meetings for Plaintiffs’ counsel, among other duties.
About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman
Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements over the past 40 years. The firm’s award-winning personal injury attorneys have a longstanding track record of success holding large corporations accountable for failing to warn of the dangers of consumer products.
The National Law Journal and The Trial Lawyer Magazine honored Baum Hedlund’s Roundup legal team as 2020 Elite Trial Lawyers Mass Tort Law Firm of the Year finalists and 2019 Elite Trial Lawyers Mass Tort Trial Team of the Year winner. The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 awarded the firm’s Roundup attorneys the Trial Team of the Year 2019 and attorney Wisner as 2019 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyer of the Year. All of the firm’s attorneys who worked on the Monsanto Roundup litigation are now working on the Zantac cancer litigation.
More than 7,400 people throughout the country have retained Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman to mount legal claims alleging Zantac (ranitidine) caused them or a member of their family to develop cancer. Baum Hedlund Zantac attorneys have already filed lawsuits in California state courts on behalf of 840 people.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b52bd260-4a8f-475b-9c39-718a37c5a35b