Legal Guide

What You Need To Know About Zantac Lawsuits

Over the years, there are several complaints and issues about products and cases filed against pharmaceutical companies. Recently, there is another high-profile lawsuit against a famous drug, Zantac, a common over-the-counter drug highly used to treat gastrointestinal issues. 

Compared to other drug lawsuits, the drug involved is not new. It has been in the market for decades now. This time the drug is a common one and is easily bought and used by people. This lawsuit is relatively new and will be seen for a while. Here are some facts and updates you will need to know about the Zantac Lawsuit.

What Is The Zantac Lawsuit?

The lawsuit was created since the adverse reports about the drug. It is a lawsuit against Sanofi and the former manufacturers of Zantac: GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer (Johnson & Johnson), and Boehringer Ingelheim. It claims that the manufacturers knew the possible health risks of using Zantac, but they still chose not to share this critical information with the public.  

Zantac has been in the market for decades, and it only now has people discovered and experienced its harmful effects. Several people have decided to come up against the drug manufacturers and seek compensation for the damages it has caused to them ever since the announced reports about it causing various types of cancer. 

The Issue Behind It

There is no doubt that Zantac is an effective drug to treat gastrointestinal issues. However, recently the drug manufacturers’ claim of the product being safe and harmless has been debunked.

The Valisure, a pharmaceutical drug testing lab in Connecticut, has tested Zantac and found high levels of  N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a carcinogen that causes cancer. The level of NDMA found was 2,511,469 ng. They reported their finding to the FDA in July 2019.  

In September 2019, the FDA announced the results of their own tests. The results agree with the Valisure’s results. Although the level of NDMA found in Zantac by the FDA was smaller (claimed to be flawed) compared to the Valisure’s, it was still above the maximum exposure level of NDMA, which is 96 ng per day.

In April 2020, the FDA officially recalled Zantac from the market and requested all manufacturers to stop selling ranitidine drugs. But ever since the results were released, Sanofi voluntarily recalled their product. Other manufacturers also recalled their ranitidine products before the FDA’s official request.

There have been reports shown back in December 2020 explaining the high-levels of NDMA found in Zantac. Unlike other similar cases, the NDMA contamination is not caused by a manufacturing failure, but the ranitidine’s chemical structure was unstable. These strengthen the theory that NDMA levels increase as you ingest Zantac.

The cancers linked to Zantac are but not limited to:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast
  • Colorectal
  • Esophageal
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer

What Are The Different  Zantac Lawsuits?

Several types of Zantac Lawsuits were and can still be filed. It depends on the damages caused by Zantac to the victims. There are class action lawsuits or multi-district litigation (MDL).

Class action lawsuits are multiple cases that have the same gravity, meaning that all the parties involved suffer the same damages against the defendants. All of the cases will be considered one case, and the plaintiffs will be represented by one attorney or law firm.

Any settlements that will be given to the class action lawsuit will be equally shared among each member of the class. Similarly, everyone must accept the verdict of the court and cannot reject the settlement unless they remove themselves from the lawsuit.

Zantac Lawsuit in California

There is already a federal class action lawsuit against Zantac that is filed in California. Aside from this, several personal injury claims and wrongful death claims were filed as soon as the reports broke out last September 2019. There were already 141 complaints against the manufacturers.

Since there are several individual cases against the defendants, MDL No. 2924 was formed in February 2020. This MDL consolidated all the pending cases against Zantac into one federal court.

An MDL is created not to overwhelm the court. It also speeds up the process because one judge will oversee all Zantac lawsuits. Despite all cases under MDL No. 2924 are in one federal court, each case is still reviewed individually and will be given its own verdict and settlement.

Last January 2021, progress was made into moving the case out of California. This motion removes the advantage from the defendants since they are located in California. The MDL will be put into trial in Florida and will be handled by Judge Rosenberg. 

Current Zantac Cases

As of now, there are 562 cases in the Multidistrict Litigation filed against Zantac. The evidence against Sanofi and other defendants is strong. The case will most likely be resolved with settlements. The settlements are expected to range from a hundred thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars, depending on the case.

The lawsuit is still ongoing. Possible victims are still encouraged to file a case. Right now, plaintiffs are preparing evidence for the briefings and trials. They are gathering proof of daily or regular Zantac use and documents and other evidence showing the connection of their Zantac use to the development of their cancer.

There are limited reactions from the defendants. Sanofi is already experiencing losses due to the issue. They expressed their beliefs on providing safe medicines and that they are working closely with the FDA. Other manufacturers like Boehringer Ingelheim have yet to give statements.

It is an active lawsuit and is still in its early stage; a trial is yet to be scheduled. Read here for more information about the suit.

Final Thoughts

Zantac has been used for many years by so many people, and it is only now that evidence has proven its harmful effects. Thankfully, Zantac is no longer produced, which will speed up the process of the litigation. However, the pandemic has also not helped in speeding up the process.

The Zantac lawsuit is fairly new and will still take time before it is done. Further progress should be expected in the upcoming months and years.


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