Overview: What is the Zantac lawsuit
What happens when big pharma companies put profit over people? You guessed it, lawsuits. One such example is the Zantac Lawsuit.
So, what is the Zantac Lawsuit?
Simply put, the Zantac lawsuit is a legal claim that alleges Zantac causes cancer. Plaintiffs are seeking compensation because they believe that their Zantac (Ranitidine) caused them to be exposed to large quantities of NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), which lead them to develop various types of cancers.
Worried that you or someone you love may have been a target of Zantac induced cancer?
Read on to find out more about the suit and how you can play a part in holding those responsible accountable.
On September 13th, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration Authority (FDA) issued a press release that called for the immediate recall of some ranitidine medicines especially Zantac because they were believed to be contaminated with NDMA (a known carcinogen).
People who were prescribed Zantac made with ranitidine and had developed cancers as a result filed suits against Zantac manufacturers.
The suits allege that:
- The active ingredient in Zantac, Ranitidine is an unstable molecule, which makes the drug defective and potentially lethal
- Drug manufacturers of Zantac failed to properly inform the public about the potential risk of cancer despite prior knowledge
Ranitidine, or the brand name Zantac, remains a popular over the counter (OTC) antacid used to decrease the overall production of stomach acid. It belongs to a category of drugs known as Histamine H2 receptor antagonists (H2 Blockers).
Zantac is used for the treatment of several diseases like:
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD)
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
The European pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) originally developed Zantac and started selling it in the US after it was approved in 1983. But after its patent expired in 1987 other competitors started producing generic alternatives.
In 2004, Pfizer got approval from the FDA and started to sell Zantac OTC. This event led them to make a deal with Sanofi SA, which currently sells Zantac.
Other companies that sold Zantac in the United States include Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer, and Johnson and Johnson.
Zantac (Ranitidine) is an antacid that has been around since the 1980s. Since then, it has been prescribed millions of times each year. In fact, in 2019 alone Zantac was prescribed over 13 million times.
So, why is the drug suddenly classified as dangerous?
Well, the answer lies in the molecular structure of Zantac.
According to Valisure (an online pharmacy), Ranitidine, an active ingredient of Zantac, reacts with stomach acid and produces large amounts of NDMA in the digestive tract.
This is particularly true after the consumption of a nitrate rich meal such as beef and bacon.
This makes Zantac a commonly prescribed drug, a potential carcinogen.
NDMA or N-nitrosodimethylamine is an unstable organic compound. It is usually created unintentionally as an industrial byproduct.
NDMA is extremely toxic and causes severe liver damage and internal bleeding along with other symptoms. It has also been listed as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Moreover, many animal lab tests conducted over the last 40 years have also linked NDMA exposure with cancer. Ranitidine, a component of Zantac, degrades into NDMA in the presence of heat and humidity.
People who took Zantac and developed cancer reported a wide variety of cancers. Cancers of the bladder were especially common.
Many patients who were diagnosed with such cancers had no familial history, genetic markers, or exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos. Instead, the physicians reported that these were caused by something in the environment.
If you believe that you developed cancer after taking Zantac, make sure to contact a lawyer to see if you fit the criteria to file a suit.
Currently, the cancers that qualify for Zantac lawsuits include:
- Esophageal cancers
- Gastric cancers (adenocarcinoma, gastric lymphomas, GI stromal tumors)
- Liver cancers
- Bladder cancers
- Pancreatic cancers
Moreover, if you believe that you developed any other health issues in addition to cancer you can always consult with your attorney and discuss adding additional claims along with the cancer claim.
Additional side effects of long-term Zantac (Ranitidine) use:
While the primary focus of the Zantac lawsuits is cancer, there are many additional adverse effects of long-term Zantac use that may be cause for damages.
These include but are not limited to:
- Increased risk of developing cardiac issues (arrhythmias, tachycardia)
- Increased risk of pneumonia
- Reduced liver, kidney, and lung function
- Decreased sex drive
- Dizziness, Drowsiness, or other sleep related issues
- Crohn’s disease
- Primary pulmonary hypertension
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
If you or someone you know experienced these symptoms while taking Zantac regularly then you should consult your attorney. Your attorney will help investigate your claim and determine whether you have a case.
To file a Zantac lawsuit, you must contact a Zantac attorney. The attorney will first meet with you and ensure that you meet certain prerequisites before you file a suit.
These prerequisites include:
Potential plaintiffs must be able to prove that they were either prescribed brand name Zantac or they purchased the antacid over the counter. These claims have to be backed up by hard evidence such as bills, digital health records/prescriptions, doctor’s notes, or credit card receipts.
The main injury claimed in Zantac lawsuits is cancer. Claimants must be able to prove that they were diagnosed with cancer in 20 years or less after they last took Zantac. Moreover, potential clients should also have received their diagnosis at 89 years or younger. Another important thing to note here is that clients must also have been diagnosed with only bladder, stomach, liver, pancreatic, or esophageal cancers as other cancers do not qualify.
Claimants must also be able to establish a strong link between the cancer they were diagnosed with and Zantac use. To qualify, you must be able to prove that you took Zantac at least weekly for a year or longer. As a general rule of thumb, a high dose or frequent use will improve your chances of a successful lawsuit.
After you meet the criteria, an attorney will most likely ask you some questions to get a better idea of your case.
Some frequently asked questions are:
The length of time you took Zantac plays an important role in establishing a link between your cancer diagnosis and Zantac. If you cannot remember the exact day or time, it is completely okay. Just give your best estimate by looking at the hard evidence.
It is essential to tell your attorney about the type of cancer you were diagnosed with and the exact date on which you were diagnosed. This will help the attorney understand your case better and come up with better arguments.
Any additional issues you suffer from besides cancer are of importance as well. The attorney needs to know if you suffer from any additional side effects from Zantac use. These may include diseases like Crohn’s disease and primary pulmonary hypertension which may have been diagnosed along with cancer. If you suffer from either of these two along with cancer you may be able to file additional claims.
Details of your treatment must also be shared with your lawyer. This is important because the cost of your treatment may directly influence the settlement that you may receive.
The type of legal representation you have can help you make or break a case. So, if you are thinking of filing a Zantac suit you should find someone who knows what they are doing and are qualified enough to help you build a solid case.
Listed below are a few qualities you should look for in a lawyer:
- Similar experience
- Good communication skills
You should also never be too afraid to ask questions. This will help you get to know your attorney better and build a good working relationship.
Some potential questions you could ask are:
- How long have you been practicing the law?
- Have you worked on similar cases before?
- How often do you provide updates?
- How much do you charge and what other expenses can I expect?
- Will you be handling my case personally?
The Zantac lawsuit statute of limitations varies from state to state but in most states, cancer victims have 1-2 years after getting diagnosed to be able to sue.
However, in some situations, the statute of limitations is put on hold so that more people can file a case. Therefore, it might be in your interest to seek legal advice even if the statute of limitations has passed for you.
You can potentially join Zantac MDL (multidistrict litigation) even after your statute of limitations has expired provided you meet certain criteria.
MDL is basically, a single lawsuit that is filed by many people who all suffer the same injury caused by the same defendant or defendants to speed up the litigation process.
So, in this case, you could join other victims in the MDL suit against Zantac manufacturers. But, it should be noted that each case will remain separate and will potentially have separate outcomes.
If you are interested in joining and want to know if you meet the qualification criteria it is really important that you contact a Zantac cancer lawyer as soon as possible.
Zantac lawsuits can be filed against brand name Zantac manufacturers.
Some pharma companies that have been named in recent Zantac Lawsuits include:
- Chattem Chemicals
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Sanofi US
- Sanofi-Aventis US
However, Generic drugmakers like Teva and Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, retailers like Amazon, Costco, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and distributors like AmerisourceBergen Crop. are immune since claims against them have been dismissed by the MDL judge on the basis of Federal Law.
If your brand of Zantac is not listed above and you don’t know whether they are liable to a suit, it is best to consult your attorney.
You have to pay nothing upfront while filing a Zantac lawsuit. This is because most Zantac attorneys will work with you on a contingency basis. What this means is, your lawyer only gets paid when you get paid.
If your lawyer does not reach a settlement you will most likely not owe them any fees at all. Therefore, almost anyone can hire a Zantac attorney no matter their financial situation.
In the case that you do receive a settlement, the guilty party will send your law firm a check. Your firm will cash the check, keep their fees, and then transfer you the remaining amount.
But, one important thing to note here is that not all law firms are the same and some might not work on a contingency basis. It is important to discuss details regarding payment and reach an agreement before filing a suit.
If you feel that you or a loved one have suffered because of Zantac it might be in your best interest to file a suit.
This is because any potential compensation might help with:
- Payment of any current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Alleviating pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Other miscellaneous expenses such as travel
Every case is different and therefore, the settlement that will be awarded will vary. Hence, it becomes really difficult to give an exact number especially since trials have not even begun.
But, according to our estimate, the payout could potentially range anywhere from $40,000 – $400,000. However, this is just an educated guess based on settlements from prior similar cases.
The exact amount you might receive will depend majorly on 2 factors:
Did Zantac harm or injure you in any way? This could mean cancer, but it could also mean other non-economic damages that are not so easy to assess such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of quality of life, etc.
Did Zantac use cause you any financial harm? This could mean a lot of things like medical bills, loss of a job, or other tangible losses.
Naturally, as a victim you want the cases to settle as soon as possible. But, big mass tort cases such as this one take time to settle.
Currently, the litigation is in the process of what we call a ‘consolidated discovery phase’ which is just a fancy way of saying both sides are collecting evidence for the case. This takes time especially when there are hundreds of plaintiffs joining in every week.
The first Zantac case is scheduled to begin in October 2022 while the MDL is set to begin next year. Based on this there could be a settlement negotiation as early as next year.
As a general rule of thumb, during a Zantac lawsuit or any other suit, you must never talk to outside counsel unless your legal representation is present in the same room.
Moreover, you should also not talk about the case with anyone else besides your own lawyer. If you have any questions or concerns, they must be routed through your attorney.
Several class action lawsuits are currently being filed against Zantac manufacturers. But mostly they are geared towards people who took Zantac but have not gotten sick yet.
In comparison to Zantac lawsuits, Zantac class action lawsuits can only compensate plaintiffs for the money that they spent on purchasing the drug.
People who decide to join the class action will most probably have to show receipts for their purchase to receive any damages.
Examples of such class action suits include:
- The case filed on September 13th, 2019 in California where the plaintiffs allege that Sanofi and Boehringer sold over the counter Zantac despite knowing it was a carcinogen. The plaintiffs want their money back and claim they would not have purchased the drug had they known the side effects.
- A suit in Ohio filed on January 22nd, 2020, consisting of 13 plaintiffs who are seeking medical monitoring and equitable remedies in compensation
Even if you can file a class action suit against Ranitidine manufacturers, contact a lawyer now to find out if you are eligible.
It’s been almost 40 years since Zantac became available in the market and since then millions have consumed this drug under the impression that it was safe. Now, they have cancer. If you or someone you know is a victim, call a lawyer now and get the compensation you deserve.
Like any drug recall, the Zantac recall should be taken seriously. If you have been taking Zantac regularly you must speak with your doctor immediately. Your doctor will be able to help you in finding an alternate and counsel you regarding the individual health risks you could face. If you think you might be a victim of Zantac induced carcinogenesis you should contact a Zantac attorney and learn about your legal rights.
The first Zantac lawsuit was filed by Joseph L. Galimidi on the 13th of September 2019 against Sanofi. He had been taking Zantac since 2009 and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.
Every lawsuit follows a different timeline, making it difficult to predict just how long a suit will last. Generally, mass tort lawsuits like the Zantac lawsuit take a long time to settle. Some suits reach negotiations within a year while others can drag out longer.
The first Zantac suit is scheduled to go on trial before the jury on the 10th of October 2022 and will be presented before California Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo.
Despite being pulled off the shelves in September 2019, Zantac is back on the market. However, this Zantac is safer. The new Zantac or more commonly known as ‘Zantac 360’ has a different active ingredient than the old one. While the old Zantac contained Ranitidine (which was banned by the FDA), Zantac 360 contains Famotidine. Famotidine, unlike Ranitidine, contains no NDMA and is not believed to cause cancer.
Lawsuits against Zantac are continuing to pile up. In fact, more than 100 Zantac lawsuits were sent by a Federal Judiciary panel to the Southern District of Florida to be consolidated into an MDL. In support of its decision, the Panel on MDL wrote that the allegations against Zantac ‘’could be a large litigation”.