Valsartan Cancer Lawsuit Settlement

Our lawyers can help you bring a Valsartan cancer lawsuit in all 50 states.

Valsartan is a popular blood-pressure drug used by millions of people in the U.S. and sold under the brand names Diofan and Exforge. But Valsartan was recalled after it was discovered that the drug was contaminated with dangerously high levels of a carcinogenic chemical called NDMA.

This has prompted thousands of Valsartan lawsuits by individuals who developed certain types of cancer after prolonged use of Valsartan.

Our law firm is handling Valsartan cancer lawsuits in all 50 states. If you used valsartan for an extended period, it may have significantly increased your chance of developing certain types of cancer. Get a free online consultation or call our lawyers at 800-553-8082.  


Valsartan News and Updates 2024

Below are updates from the Valsartan MDL:

June 15, 2024 – Sanctions Hearing

A hearing on June 25th will determine whether sanctions should be awarded for the failure to produce Baohua Chen, the CEO of ZHP, for a deposition.

This is an important deposition. Chen was directly involved in the core issues of the case – the development, manufacture, sale, and recall of ZHP’s Valsartan. Plaintiffs’ lawyers also say that ZHP also failed to comply fully with court orders to produce relevant documents, including an email from July 27, 2017, which discussed contamination issues and an internal report on nitrosamine impurities. One of the core allegations in this case – one that could result in punitive damages – is that ZHP, under Chen’s direction, covered up their knowledge of the contamination from July 27, 2017, until Novartis discovered it in June 2018.

June 12, 2024 – New Prostate Cancer Case Filed

A man from Navajo, Arizona, became one of the most recent plaintiffs to file a case in the Valsartan class action MDL. The Complaint alleges that the plaintiff took generic Valsartan manufactured by Hetero Drugs, Ltd. And distributed by NuCare Pharmaceuticals. The lawsuit asserts that the plaintiff developed prostate cancer as a result of NDMA contamination in the Valsartan and asserts ten separate causes of action. The case was filed directly in the MDL using the Short-Form-Complaint.

June 6, 2024 – Settlement Rumors

There is a lot of buzz about Valsartan settlements. There have been settlements with Hetero, a relatively small defendant who only sold contaminated Valsartan for two months and had lower levels of MDMA contamination. This is not a new development. Will there be settlements with the larger defendants in the near future? You never know when a settlement will break, but this is one of those pieces of litigation where a few verdicts might be necessary to get the defendants to offer fair settlement amounts.

June 3, 2024 – MDL Has 1,200 Cases

As of June 1, 2024, there were 1,248 pending cases in the Valsartan class action MDL. At this time last year, there were 1,211 pending cases, so the MDL has not really grown much over the last year.

May 23, 2024 – New Judge

A new MDL judge, U.S. District Judge Renee M. Bumb, has taken over the litigation after Judge Robert B. Kugler retired.

Valsartan lawyers are still preparing groups of cases for trial to gauge jury responses to evidence and testimony and to help determine settlement amounts. Will we get that far, or will the cases all settle before that? It remains to be seen.

May 2, 2024 – Types of Cases Linked to Valsartan

These are the conditions our Valsartan lawyer are targeting:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Blood Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma, and Leukemia
  • Colorectal/Colon/Rectal Cancer
  • Gastric/Stomach Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Pharyngeal (throat)/Esophageal Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer

April 25, 2024 – Where Are We on a Valsartan Settlement?

There have been some Valsartan settlements. Judge Kugler appointed two retired judges as mediators to resolve outstanding lawsuits. The hope is the rest of the lawsuits settle soon.

March 27 2024 – Valsartan Motions

The MDL judge ruled ahead of the bellwether trial that drug labels stating “valsartan” implied a promise about the safety of these generic blood pressure medications, which is good news. But it remains contested whether this assurance was broken due to alleged contamination with a carcinogenic substance.

We think these cases will settle before there is a trial. It is hard to imagine what good would come for the defendants in not settling these cases or at least settling the bellwether to buy time. But we will see.

January 23, 2024 – Revised Scheduling Order

Date Action Notations
January 26, 2024 to February 5, 2024 New Deadline
  • The supplemental deposition of plaintiffs’ expert, Rena Conti, is scheduled for February 1, 2024
  • The supplemental deposition of defendants’ expert, Wayne Gibson, is scheduled for February 5, 2024
February 5, 2024 to February 12, 2024 New Due Date Parties’ opening Rule 702/Daubert motions to preclude reports of the damages experts
February 19, 2024 to February 26, 2024 New Due Date Parties’ Oppositions to these Rule 702/Daubert motions
February 28, 2024 to March 6, 2024 New Due Date Parties’ Replies to the Rule 702/Daubert Oppositions

January 16, 2024 – Fact Sheet

There is a dispute about plaintiffs’ fact sheets that will be decided at a hearing on January 24, 2024.

January 13, 2024 – Status Conference

There will be a status conference on February 1, 2024.

January 11, 2024 – How Many Valsartan plaintiffs in the MDL class action?

There are 1,226 plaintiffs in the Valsartan MDL in January 2024.

January 10, 2024 – Experts in the Valsartan Litigation

Here are the experts who have been named in the Valsartan MDL:

Defense Experts
Expert Retained by Plaintiffs Report Date
Ali Afnan, PhD ZHP Amended Report 11 Jan 2023
Timothy Anderson, MS, MBA Teva 12 Jan 2022
Steven Baertschi, PhD Teva & ZHP 19 Dec 2022
Michael Bottorff, PharmD Defendants 12 Jan 2022
John Flack, MD, MPH Defendants 19 Dec 2022
Timothy Kosty, RPh, MBA Defendants 19 Dec 2022
Akhilish Nagaich, PhD Torrent 22 Dec 2022
Roger Williams, MD Teva Revised Report 28 Jan 2023
Fengtian Xue, PhD ZHP 22 Dec 2022

 

Plaitniffs’ Experts
Expert Retained by Report Date
Susan Bain, DRsc Plaintiffs 31 Oct 2022
Laura Craft, MPH, JD Plaintiffs 31 Oct 2022
Stephen Hecht, PhD & Ramin Najafi, PhD Plaintiffs 6 Jul 2021 & 31 Oct 2022
Kaliope Panagos, PharmD Plaintiffs 31 Oct 2022
Laura Plunkett, PhD Plaintiffs 31 Oct 2022
Philip Russ, BS Plaintiffs 31 Oct 2022

The court put this list together in its January 5th ruling.

January 5, 2024 – Expert Rulings

The court made a huge ruling on what experts can and cannot say at trial. The court used a knife, not a machete, and thin sliced the report. For most experts, the judge allowed some opinions and excluded some opinions.

Valsartan News and Updates 2023

Valsartan Update: August 2023:

With the opening round of bellwether trials only 7 months away, the Valsartan class action lawsuit continues to grow at a snail pace. Last month, just 5 new plaintiffs were added to the MDL, bringing the current total up to 1,216.

Valsartan Update: June 2023

This litigation continues to move along. There are now 1,211 plaintiffs. So there is more case subtraction at this point than addition. The next Case Management Conference will occur Wednesday, June 7, 2023. 

Valsartan Update: February 2023:

In the wake of the depressing ruling in Zantac, another NDMA lawsuit, defendants in the Valsartan class action MDL filed a motion asking the MDL to reconsider its earlier ruling on the validity of the plaintiffs’ causation evidence. Nope. Instead, Judge Kugler certified not one, not two, but a whopping four class actions were greenlit: economic loss, third-party payers, and two flavors of medical monitoring (remedy and independent claim). He also looked favorably on most plaintiffs’ experts’ opinions.  The reality is that the science of the Valsartan litigation is very different than the Zantac cases. 

Valsartan Update: December 2022

In the wake of the recent ruling dismissing all of the Zantac lawsuits, defendants in the Valsartan class action MDL filed a motion asking the MDL to reconsider its earlier ruling on the validity of the plaintiffs’ causation evidence. The defendants were hoping that the Zantac ruling would lead to a similar result in their cases.

However, the Valsartan MDL Judge rejected this request. In an Order issued last week, Judge Kugler explained that the scientific issues in the Zantac lawsuits were significantly different and, therefore, the ruling in that litigation had no application to the Valsartan cases. Judge Kugler’s ruling now leaves the path clear for the Valsartan cases to go to trial.

This is good news. The shadow of the December dismissal of the Zantac NDMA claims hovered over this litigation. Yes, different judges, different science, many different things. But you cannot seriously pretend that the dismissal of the Zantac class action lawsuit did not send shockwaves through the Valsartan litigation, even if it is just a reflex. Still, it is all systems go toward the first Valsartan trial. 

Valsartan Update: November 2022

We will not see many more new Valsartan lawsuits. Only 15 new cases were added to the Valsartan class action MDL over the last month. Since the start of the year, only 116 new Valsartan cancer lawsuits have been added to the MDL class action. Most of those were filed before April. The monthly totals have been steadily decreasing since then, which could indicate that the field of prospective plaintiffs may be close to fully exhausted.

Valsartan Update: October 2022

There are now 1,155 plaintiffs with pending cases in the Valsartan MDL alleging that NDMA in the popular drug caused them to develop cancer. This means that the Valsartan MDL has only added 120 new cases over the last six months.

One of the primary reasons that the Valsartan class action has remained so small compared to its class action “cousin” Zantac is that the NDMA contamination in Valsartan was a limited event that occurred in only certain batches of the drug. It is also a reflection of the more limited size of Valsartan users compared to Zantac.  


Valsartan Settlement Update: August 2022

There has not been much to update in the Valsartan class action lawsuit in the last few months. Forty new Valsartan NDMA cancer cases have been transferred into the MDL since April.

During that same time, around half a dozen cases have been voluntarily dismissed. So the current number of Valsartan lawsuits in the class action is 1,110 as of June 15.

Our lawyers’ general expectation is that the Valsartan cases will eventually be resolved in a global settlement. But it has been a slow – very sloooowww – grind.

The minutes of the last status conference with the MDL judge on June 29, 2022, underscore this reality. Instead of hammering away to find common ground on Valsartan lawsuit settlement amounts that would resolve these cases, the parties are still discussing the same preliminary discovery matters that were at issue five months ago. It is like Groundhog Day. 

No bellwether trials have been scheduled, and we don’t even have a selection process for bellwether cases. Hopefully, things will heat up soon. There is a good judge in these cases, and Valsartan lawyers on both sides are good, competent lawyers.

One more thing to keep in mind if you are reading these updates but you are sitting on the sidelines with a potential claim. Once there is an agreement on settlement compensation amounts, it may become hard to find a lawyer. Our law firm, for example, will likely stop taking new cases after a Valsartan settlement. So, if you have a claim, call us or another Valsartan lawyer today.   


Valsartan Settlement Update: April 2022

As settlement efforts continue, the Valsartan class action lawsuit balloons to 1,072 plaintiffs. Judge Kugler will hold the monthly status conference in the Valsartan MDL today (April 13, 2022). The main agenda item for the conference today is boring but important: a lingering discovery dispute regarding document requests from the plaintiffs’ lawyers.


Valsartan Settlement Update: March 2022

A pair of former judges have been appointed as settlement counsel in the Valsartan MDL. Their job will be to help facilitate some type of global settlement that will resolve over 1,000 cases currently pending. If a settlement cannot be brokered, the opening round of bellwether trials will move forward. Here is the number if you want to follow the litigation in Pacer: 1:19-md-02875


Valsartan Recall

In 2018, the FDA announced a major recall of prescription blood pressure and heart drugs containing the active ingredient valsartan. Valsartan is widely used in several brand-name and generic drugs (Diofan, Exforge, etc.) to treat hypertension and heart failure. It was recently discovered that when valsartan is manufactured in a certain way, it can contain a dangerous impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA).

NMDA is a known human carcinogen. The valsartan medications containing the dangerous NMDA impurity have been linked to a specific pharmaceutical ingredient distributed by a Chinese company — Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. Zhejiang Huahai was manufacturing the contaminated valsartan component and selling it to several U.S. pharmaceutical companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Solco Healthcare. Zhejiang Huahai discovered NMDA impurities in its product which eventually led to the FDA recall.

All valsartan products manufactured with ingredients from the Zhejiang Huahai company were immediately recalled for safety reasons. According to the FDA, the NDMA impurities in the drugs were “totally unexpected” and believed to be caused by changes in the way certain ingredients were manufactured by the company in China.

The FDA followed up with a full investigation into the recalled products and the NDMA contamination. This investigation revealed that the NDMA contamination was more widespread than initially believed. At least one company in India that manufactures pharmaceutical ingredients was identified as a potential source of NDMA contamination.

List of Recalled Valsartan Drugs

Not all drugs containing Valsartan have been recalled. Only those drugs are made with ingredients from Zhejiang Huahai. The list of all recalled drugs is below:

Drug Name                                                     Manufacturer

Valsartan                                                         Major Pharmaceuticals

Valsartan                                                         Solco Healthcare

Valsartan                                                         Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)  Solco Healthcare

Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)   Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

What is NDMA?

NDMA is a type of chemical compound that is often created as a byproduct of chemical processes that are used to manufacture various products. NDMA is created in the manufacture of rubber tires, chemical pesticides, and the processing of fish for market sale.

A small trace amount of NDMA is often found in certain processed foods (again as the byproduct of the way the food is produced).

NDMA is classified as a human carcinogen (meaning it is believed to cause cancer in humans). Numerous animal studies have established that NDMA can cause cancer in the liver, gastrointestinal system, and kidneys.

Potential Injuries from the Valsartan Products

It is very unclear how long the recalled Valsartan products may have been on the market while containing the dangerous NDMA impurities.

However, all of the recalled valsartan drugs are long-term “maintenance” medications that patients usually take every day for years. Therefore, it is very possible that many individuals could have been ingesting drugs contaminated with NDMA daily for many years. This sort of long-term exposure to a known carcinogen creates a very serious health risk. NDMA exposure is strongly linked to certain types of cancer, including:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer

Valsartan Class Action Lawsuit

The discovery of NDMA in Valsartan prompted a wave of product liability lawsuits. Since the 2018 recall, around 1,100 Valsartan lawsuits have been filed. Most of the Valsartan lawsuits ended up in federal courts and were eventually consolidated into a class-action MDL in the District of New Jersey (Valsartan MDL). There are currently over 1,000 active cases pending in the Valsartan MDL.

The plaintiffs in these Valsartan lawsuits are individuals who used prescription drugs containing valsartan to treat high blood pressure for extended periods and were subsequently diagnosed with one of the cancer types linked to NDMA. Plaintiffs in the Valsartan lawsuits are claiming that their cancer was directly caused by the NDMA in the Valsartan medication they were using. There is significant and reliable scientific evidence linking NDMA consumption to various cancers.

Settlement Value of Valsartan Lawsuits

None of the Valsartan cancer lawsuits have settled or gone to trial yet, so we don’t know exactly how much these cases could be worth. However, our attorneys can offer a reasonable estimate of their likely Valsartan settlement amounts by looking at payouts in prior cases. For purposes of valuing the Valsartan lawsuits, our lawyer focuses on average settlement values in other tort cases involving similar cancers and also prior mass tort settlements.

Based on these points of comparison, we think a reasonable estimate for the potential settlement value of valsartan cancer cases in the top settlement tier will be around $150,000 to $200,000. The valsartan cases in the highest settlement tier will be those involving the worst types of cancer with the lowest survival rates (e.g., pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, etc.) Valsartan cases involving somewhat more survivable types of cancer (kidney, colon, etc.) could end up in a second settlement tier with a possible value of around $90,000 to $125,000.

valsartan settlement value

When Will the Valsartan Lawsuit Be Settled?

There has already been a Valsartan settlement with one of the smaller defendants. As of June 2024, there has not been meaningful settlement negotiations. There should be – we have said this before – a Valsartan trial in the MDL this year. That may move the defendants to make reasonable settlement offers.

Contact a Lawyer If You Took Valsartan and Now Have Cancer

If you have been taking one of the recalled valsartan drugs and have been diagnosed with cancer, you should contact Miller & Zois to discuss whether you have a potential claim.

There is a class action lawsuit that we discussed above that may lead to financial settlements for Valsartan victims. Get a free online consultation or call 800-553-8082.  

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