Pfizer and Sanofi settled a Zantac lawsuit originally scheduled for trial in February 2023 in California. The heartburn drug manufacturers opted to resolve the litigation before its court appearance. This resolution to the first of four Zantac claims slated for California courts in the new year arrived shortly after an earlier ruling this month that dismissed federal Zantac lawsuits in MDL-2924. The case set for California Superior Court for Alameda County listed Pfizer, Sanofi, and GSK as defendants. A jury will still hear evidence against GSK since the company did not join the settlement alongside Pfizer and Sanofi.
First California Zantac Claim Scheduled for Trial Settled
Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Sanofi, GSK, and Boehringer Ingelheim are facing lawsuits that the heartburn drug Zantac caused individuals to develop cancer. Manufacturers have managed to escape federal cases for now. However, there remain tens of thousands of state Zantac cancer claims nationwide. One such lawsuit scheduled for a California trial in February 2023 has settled before its trial date.
The plaintiff, James Goetz, claims Zantac caused his bladder cancer. Goetz’s case was set to appear before a jury in February 2023, but defendants Pfizer and Sanofi have reached a settlement. Sanofi confirmed the deal on December 21, 2022, but did not disclose the amount it had agreed to pay Goetz. The company added that it did not settle because it believed in the validity of this claim but only to avoid further expenses and distractions. Pfizer also announced that it settled its portion of the case but did not divulge how much.
However, GSK did not resolve its involvement in the state lawsuit. In a statement concerning the outcome of the Zantac MDL, the company mentioned that it plans to “continue to defend itself vigorously, including against all claims brought at the state level.”
Future of Zantac Litigation
With the settlement of the first California Zantac lawsuit scheduled for state court, lawyers and plaintiffs will closely watch the outcomes of these upcoming three trials. It is unknown if this settlement will affect the court dates of the next Zantac cases. A July 2022 order outlined May 1, August 7, and October 23 as the trial dates for the remaining California Zantac lawsuits.
The dissolution of the Zantac MDL has increased the importance of these future state trials. There are no federal bellwether trials in place for the MDL because Judge Rosenburg dismissed all federal Zantac claims. These future California trials will essentially act as bellwether trials to gauge the jury’s reaction to claims that Zantac causes cancer.