Litigation Shareholder Joanne M. O’Connor has been appointed by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg as Defendants’ Liaison Counsel in the Zantac (Ranitidine) multidistrict products liability litigation.
As Defendants’ Liaison Counsel, Joanne holds a pivotal leadership role as the point of contact for the transferee court, charged with expediting the resolution of complex litigation through the centralized distribution of information among and between defense counsel, the coordination of defendant responses, and the streamlining of arguments and filings.
During the creation of the Defense Leadership, the Court directed the Defendants to consider what mechanisms would “best facilitate a leadership team that includes both seasoned counsel and energetic attorneys with new ideas.” Subsequently, the Court established a defense leadership structure which includes four (4) Co-Lead Counsel, Liaison Counsel, a Steering Committee, and a Leadership Development Committee, and further outlined the defense leadership’s duties and responsibilities. Diversity and innovative MDL leadership mentoring are notable in both the Plaintiff and Defendant leadership appointments by Judge Robin Rosenberg.
Joanne is a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in Business Litigation who focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation including contracts and business torts, partnership and corporate disputes, civil RICO, real estate and land use litigation, and lawyer and law firm defense. She is an experienced litigator who advocates for her clients in jury and non-jury trials and appeals in state and federal courts and before private arbitration panels. Joanne currently serves as the President of the Federal Bar Association Palm Beach County Chapter.
The U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation formed this MDL (case no. 9:20-md-02924) in the Southern District of Florida on February 6, 2020. The plaintiffs allege exposure to cancer-causing impurity NDMA in the leading heartburn medication, ZANTAC, and its active ingredient Ranitidine. The defendants, including Sanofi-Aventis U.S., Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, contend that there is no evidence of any causal link between the drug and cancer.