Zantac Litigation: What You Need to Know About Filing a Claim
Over the past few years, there has been increasing concern about the safety of the popular heartburn medication Zantac (ranitidine). Studies have found that Zantac contains low levels of the carcinogen NDMA, which may increase the risk of cancer with long-term use. As a result, Zantac was pulled from the market in 2020.
If you or a loved one took Zantac and later developed cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation. Here is what you need to know about the Zantac litigation and how to go about filing a claim.
Background on Zantac and the NDMA Contamination
Zantac first hit the market in 1983 and quickly became one of the best-selling medications in history, used by millions of people worldwide for heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. However, recent tests have detected unsafe levels of the chemical NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine products.
NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen based on animal studies. It is the same cancer-causing chemical that has led to recalls of blood pressure and heart medications in recent years. The FDA has said that NDMA levels in Zantac are low, but long-term ingestion on a daily basis may still pose a cancer risk.
In September 2019, the FDA first warned that some Zantac products were found to contain NDMA. By October, many manufacturers and retailers voluntarily pulled Zantac and other ranitidine products off the market. In April 2020, the FDA requested all remaining manufacturers withdraw ranitidine products, including prescription and over-the-counter Zantac.
Zantac Cancer Lawsuits & Litigation Status
Thousands of lawsuits have now been filed against the makers of Zantac, including Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. In these lawsuits, plaintiffs allege that:
- The manufacturers knew or should have known about the NDMA risks
- Zantac products were defective and unreasonably dangerous
- Consumers were not adequately warned about cancer risks
- Plaintiffs developed cancer after taking Zantac, such as bladder, breast, esophageal, liver, pancreatic, prostate, or stomach cancer
In February 2022, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved the creation of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) for all Zantac cancer lawsuits in federal courts. This MDL is centralized in the Southern District of Florida under Judge Robin L. Rosenberg.
Hundreds of state court Zantac lawsuits have also been filed, primarily in California. Unlike a federal MDL, there is no centralized process for coordinating state lawsuits. However, joint efforts have been made to avoid duplication and conflicting rulings.
No Zantac cases have yet gone to trial or reached a settlement. With the litigation still in the early stages, it will likely take years for Zantac lawsuits to be resolved. However, establishing an MDL should help streamline the process and move these cases forward.
Who May Be Eligible to File a Zantac Lawsuit?
If you or someone you love developed cancer after taking Zantac, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. The following are general requirements that may make you eligible to pursue a Zantac lawsuit:
- Took Zantac for at least several months – Cancer diagnoses linked to Zantac generally involve long-term use, not short-term use. Using Zantac for a year or longer strengthens a claim.
- Developed one of the cancers associated with Zantac – Cancers like bladder, breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, intestinal, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, or stomach cancer are particularly concerning with Zantac use.
- No other major risk factors for that cancer – If you have a history of heavy smoking and developed lung cancer after taking Zantac, the claim becomes weaker. The cancer should not be easily attributed to other factors.
- Developed cancer within the last 10 years – Most states have statutes of limitations that require cancer to be diagnosed within the last 5-10 years to be eligible to pursue a claim.
- Have documentation of Zantac use – Pill bottles, pharmacy records, receipts, medical records, and insurance claims help verify and strengthen a claim.
- Have evidence connecting the cancer diagnosis to Zantac use – Expert testimony on NDMA exposure and diagnosis timeline can help prove the cancer link.
Even if you don’t meet all the above criteria, you may still possibly have a claim deserving investigation. An experienced Zantac lawyer can best evaluate your specific situation.
How Much is My Zantac Cancer Lawsuit Worth?
The value of each Zantac claim depends on the specific circumstances of that case:
- Type and severity of cancer diagnosis
- Extent of medical expenses, treatment, pain and suffering
- Lost income and impact on quality of life
- Length of time taking Zantac
- Age and medical history of the plaintiff
- Strength of evidence tying cancer to Zantac
Given the range of individual factors, it is difficult to estimate the value of any one particular claim. In general, however, Zantac cancer settlements could potentially be worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars depending on the situation.
Juries have awarded massive verdicts in other prescription drug injury lawsuits, including average awards of $10+ million per plaintiff in some cases. While there are no guarantees, Zantac plaintiffs could see comparable high values if these lawsuits ultimately go to trial and produce plaintiff verdicts.
Act Soon to Preserve Your Claim
Each state has its own statutes of limitations setting deadlines on when you can file a lawsuit after an injury occurs. These limitations periods vary but are generally between 1-6 years. It is important to have a Zantac attorney investigate your case and file a claim well before a deadline passes.
The best time to take action is now, while Zantac litigation is still evolving. Important pre-trial developments like evidence discovery, expert testimony, and initial bellwether trials will all happen in coming months and years. Pursuing compensation early maximizes your leverage as a plaintiff.
Don’t delay seeking legal advice about your potential Zantac lawsuit. Schedule a free case review with us today to learn more about your legal options and to get the claims process started. With the right attorney guiding your case, you can focus on your health while aggressively pursuing the justice you deserve.
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