Lawsuits against makers of Zantac (ranitidine) over claims the heartburn drug was contaminated with a probable cancer-causing impurity were consolidated in a nationwide multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Florida. On May 8, Judge Robin L. Rosenberg who is overseeing the litigation appointed 26 lawyers to spearhead the litigation. It is an honor for any mass tort attorney to be selected to serve in a leadership role in an MDL. Judge Rosenberg’s list is especially remarkable because of its diversity. Many are minority attorneys and almost half are women.

“In addition to the individual applicant’s profile, the Court also considered the depth and quality of the applicant’s firm, the experience and qualifications of any co-counsel, and the depth and quality of co-council’s firm,” Judge Rosenberg wrote in the pretrial order. “The Court also sought to appoint a diverse leadership team that is representative of the inevitable diversity of the Plaintiffs in this case, and a team that affords younger and slightly less experienced attorneys the opportunity to participate in a leadership role in an MDL.”

Judge Rosenberg also named co-lead counsel, plaintiffs’ liaison counsel, steering committee members, and a “leadership development committee,” consisting of attorneys who demonstrated the potential to become leaders within the MDL bar.

While Judge Rosenberg’s picks are being applauded for their diversity, she pointed out that work still needs to be done to broaden the scope of MDL leadership applicants that portray “the diversity of not only our society but our profession, particularly at the senior levels of leadership.”

Beasley Allen’s Frank Woodson was among the attorneys appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee by Judge Rosenberg. In this role, he will help streamline the discovery process for the consolidated litigation involving Zantac and its link to cancer.

Frank has practiced in the area of pharmaceutical product liability with Beasley Allen Law Firm since 2001. He has more than 30 years of litigation experience, including work on MDLs involving notable cases including Bextra/Celebrex, Vioxx, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), Lipitor, Granuflo and others.

If you or a loved one have taken Zantac and been diagnosed with cancer, you may have a case against the drug maker. Beasley Allen attorneys Frank Woodson and Lisa Courson are actively investigating potential claims involving regular Zantac/ranitidine use that may have led to cancer of the stomach, colon, intestines, kidneys, or pancreas.

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