Supreme Court

July 11, 2024

Supreme Court

Mass Tort Report Update – by Attorney Jeff Keiser.

After an exciting 4th of July weekend, we’re back for more mass tort news and updates.  We hope you and family have returned with all your fingers and had some time to decompress a little. That part is important too. But now that we’re back, let’s dig into what has been going on in the exciting world of mass torts.

Sackler & Scouts

The US Supreme Court did a lot more than eliminate the value of precedent in its last weeks of the term, and at least one ruling will directly affect how mass torts are handled.

In rejecting the Sackler’s $6 billion settlement deal in bankruptcy for the opioid crisis, the Court found that the deal offered too much protection for the Sackler family from future civil litigation.

Exactly what this will change going forward remains to be seen, but anyone involved in the Boy Scout litigation should pay very close attention to these developments because if challenged, it becomes highly likely that the settlement would fail.

Could that be good for claimants? Yes, but the stark reality remains that in bankruptcy, there are limited funds to pay. Personally, I hope the settlement continues as is, simply because it is time for all parties to move beyond.


Ok, moving beyond the theoretical, Zantac is back, baby! There’s no need to rehash the birth, death, and re-birth of this litigation, but these cases are viable again and there is still time to file.

Get these cases quickly because there will be deadlines. After the federal courts rejected plaintiff experts, Delaware state courts held that the experts survived Daubert.  And since then, cases are being filed in both Delaware and California (where we’re still waiting on a Daubert ruling).

I’m not generally one for sports metaphors, but this is it, this is the 2-minute warning on Zantac.  While we may have found a way past a federal dismissal based on experts, we will never extend Delaware (or California) statute of limitations.

Bard Gets Interesting

The Bard hernia mesh cases took an interesting turn last week. The MDL issued a stay for all cases but conditioned that stay on whether the plaintiff opts out of the master settlement agreement.

Did you know we had a master settlement agreement in these cases? Neither did I.  Because we don’t.

Reading the tea leaves here. June saw more cases filed than normal, and since the Court itself references a settlement, we must be extremely close.  If you’re looking for details, I have some bad news for you.  But stay tuned, we’ll let you know as soon as we learn anything at all.

Talc Around The Corner

Talc powder cases have been quiet for a while now, but some action is right around the corner.

We have focused mainly on J&Js attempts to ‘Texas two-step’ their way out of bankruptcy, but there is a settlement on the table here as well.  J&J (through their talc business spinoff entity) have offered $6.5 billion to resolve all claims. In exchange, plaintiffs would allow the subsidiary entity to file bankruptcy.

Here’s the rub – plaintiffs need to approve the settlement at 95%. The vote is on July 26, and we should know more by the next newsletter.

Cases Nearing Settlement

With any of these cases nearing settlement, time is of the essence.  Each settlement will be limited by a usually arbitrary deadline and if you fail to file your cases before that deadline, you’ll be rejected.

We hope you’re having a great summer, but there is great work to be done.  Some of it may be on a tight deadline, but these cases are viable and from all appearances, very profitable.

Craig H. Alinder, Vice President

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