Tanenbaum Keale LLP Chair Michael A. Tanenbaum and Kelly A. Belnick were published by Law360 for their analysis on the emerging Zantac litigation and the recent arguments heard by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to centralize actions under MDL 2924.

Zantac along with other Ranitidine medications are alleged to cause a number of cancers.

During the January 30 argument, the panel and counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants agreed on coordinated proceedings, but disagreed where it should be venued – the plaintiffs wanting the Southern District of Florida, while the defendants prefer the Southern District of New York or New Jersey because of the SDNY’s and SDNJ’s expertise handling complex scientific issues and case management of large MDL dockets.

Tanenbaum and Belnick write, “The time is ripe for companies who might be drawn into the Ranitidine Actions to consider the likely trajectory of the litigation and strategic pathways for handling it. Reflecting on lessons learned from other large-scale MDLs provides an opportunity for early implementation of cost-effective strategies and technologies to manage, communicate and ultimately efficiently resolve, should resolution be an appropriate strategic choice, this possible behemoth in its nascent stages.”

They add that another option for assessing the litigation trajectory are bellwether trials, which were recently used in the transvaginal mesh litigation in both coordinated state proceedings and the MDL court.

“Bellwether trials can play an important function in assessing the litigation trajectory when early exits are not achievable. In the context of multidistrict litigation, bellwether trials can accelerate the settlement process without binding the parties. Bellwethers, if properly chosen, which rarely happens when chosen by the parties, may highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a case within a trial setting, establishing a framework where resolution may meaningfully be evaluated.”