Occasionally, severe personal injuries and wrongful deaths are the subject of class action litigation or multidistrict litigation (MDL). These so-called mass tort cases are combined due to common issues of fact and law. There are a number of huge mass tort cases pending currently.
It was recently determined that there is a link between Zantac and other ranitidine medications, and stomach and bladder cancer. Medical research has shown that there is a chemical reaction that results in ranitidine producing NDMA, a cancer-causing compound. A class action was filed in January, 2020 alleging that Zantac’s manufacturer, Pfizer, “… represented that its Zantac was safe for use,” though it contained “dangerously high levels of NDMA, rendering the product dangerous and unfit for human consumption.” The claims accuse Pfizer of breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment and violations of state consumer fraud statutes. Test results show that the amount of NDMA exposure varied depending on how long an individual used Zantac or a related medication, the amount used and certain metabolic factors that were individual-specific. If you or a loved one developed stomach or bladder cancer after consuming large doses of Zantac, you may have a claim.
Johnson & Johnson Talc Powder
A similar product liability lawsuit arises out of the use of talc powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. It has been shown that talc powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer. In addition, according to the allegations, talcum powder has been found to be contaminated with asbestos, leading to allegations of talc powder-related asbestosis. Johnson & Johnson continues to vigorously defend this litigation. Still, if you have ovarian cancer or asbestosis after long term use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder, you should contact an attorney.
Another mass tort case arises out of the relationship between Roundup, the weed killer, and leukemia or lymphoma. Recent lawsuits have resulted in record verdicts for consumers who argued that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, caused their cancer. Roundup is made by Monsanto, which is currently owned by Bayer. Bayer has had other legal problems related to unsafe products. There are currently over 42,000 glyphosate cancer claims pending. Experts estimate that there will be over 75,000 such cases when the litigation is fully realized. If you suffered leukemia or a lymphoma after long standing exposure to Roundup, you should contact an attorney for legal advice.
Mass tort litigation is usually managed by large personal injury law firms who have massive legal and paralegal staff to manage a large caseload. These firms serve an important function since they have the resources needed to go toe to toe with multibillion dollar mega corporations in high stakes litigation. They also have experience with unique laws pertaining to class actions including preemption, choice of law, and jurisdictional issues. There is a downside to signing an attorney-client contract directly with a law firm run by class counsel, though. Your case will be catalogued electronically and assigned to a low level staff member who you will never likely meet. The representation is truly impersonal.
In some cases, your interests are better served by opting out of a class action. In other cases, the class action is a proper vehicle, but more personal attention is needed. In the latter case, you enter into an attorney-client contract with a local personal injury lawyer, like a Cleveland serious personal injury lawyer, or wrongful death lawyer, who in turn refers your case to the class action. The local lawyer can monitor the litigation for you and ensure that your interests are fully represented, at no additional cost to you.
Thanks to Mishkind Kulwicki Law for their insight into some of the current class action lawsuits and whether or not you should be a part of them.