This post is from the non-Dechert side of the Blog.

There were four opinions issued in the Zantac MDL on New Years Eve.  We would like to tell you all about them, but we have to seek internal client approvals, and that will take time given the number of defendants.  They are important, and overwhelmingly favorable to the right side of the “v.”  So, pending approval, when we’ll have much more to say, here are the bare bones of these decisions.

First: “Order Granting Brand-Name Manufacturer Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Innovator-Liability Claims,” In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2020), available here.  It is what it says.  (1) Following Erie conservatism in predicting state law.  (2) Predicting that 35 states would reject innovator liability.  (3) Holding that the two states (CA and MA) that recognize innovator liability cannot assert personal jurisdiction over all but one defendant, as they are neither incorporated nor have a principal place of business in those two states.

Second:  “Order Granting Generic Manufacturers’ & Repackagers’ Rule 12 Motion To Dismiss On The Ground Of Preemption,” In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2020), available here.  Dismissing generic manufacturers and repackagers on impossibility preemption.  (1) Misbranding claims do not defeat generic preemption.  (2) Misbranding allegations do not make the vast body of preemption law meaningless.  (3) Plaintiffs failed to plead claims based on expiration dates and testing, transportation, and failure-to-report.  (4) Plaintiffs failed to plead manufacturing defects with allegation of identical defects in every unit of the product.  (5) Magnuson-Moss claims dismissed to the extent they rely on FDA-approved language.

Third:  “Order Granting Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss and/or Strike Master Personal Injury Complaint on Grounds of Impermissible Shotgun Pleading; Granting in Part & Denying in Part Defendants’ Amended Motion To Dismiss and/or Strike Consolidated Consumer & Third Party Class Action Complaints on Grounds Of Impermissible Shotgun Pleading & Lack Of Article III Standing; & Denying Generic Manufacturers’ & Repackagers’ Rule 12 Motion To Dismiss Consolidated Consumer & Third-Party Payor Class Action Complaints on the Ground of Failure To Allege an Injury,” In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2020), available here.  (1) Personal injury complaint dismissed as improper “shotgun” pleading.  (2) Juridical link doctrine does not apply.  (3) No standing to assert claims on behalf of putative class members in other states.  (4) Some medical monitoring properly pleaded, but most are not.  (5) Economic loss rule not decided.  (6) Injunctive claims allowed for the time being.

Fourth:  “Order Granting Retailer & Pharmacy Defendants’ Rule 12 Motion To

Dismiss on the Ground of Preemption, Granting Distributor Defendants’ Rule 12 Motion To Dismiss on the Ground of Preemption, Denying as Moot Retailer & Pharmacy Defendants’ Rule 12 Motion To Dismiss on State Law Grounds, & Denying as Moot Distributor Defendants’ Rule 12 Motion To Dismiss on Various Group-Specific Grounds, In re Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2924 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2020), available here.  (1) Absolute liability does not exist.  (2) All claims against pharmacies and retailers preempted by impossibility because such entities cannot cure defects in FDA-approved drugs.  (3) Misbranding claims preempted for these reasons and for the reasons stated in order #1.  (4) Storage claims inadequately pleaded.  (5) Drug Supply Chain Security Act preemption not decided.  (6) Magnuson-Moss claim fails with preemption of all state-law warranty claims.