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Zantac Lawsuit

A Zantac lawsuit is a legal claim filed by people who took Zantac and ranitidine contaminated with NDMA and later developed cancer. People filing Zantac lawsuits are seeking compensation from the drug's manufacturers for stomach, bladder and other cancers associated with NDMA, a probable human carcinogen.

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Last Modified: September 8, 2021
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Why Are Zantac Lawsuits Being Filed?

People filing Zantac lawsuits claim the drug’s manufacturer designed a defective drug and the drug’s label did not properly warn health care providers and patients that the drug could increase the risk of developing cancer.

After manufacturers issued Zantac and ranitidine recalls, the FDA told all manufacturers to stop selling the drug in the United States in April 2020 because of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (‘NDMA’) — a probable human carcinogen — contamination that increased over time. The FDA recommended people use Zantac alternatives such as Prilosec and Nexium.

Fact
The FDA has determined people should consume no more than 96 nanograms of NDMA a day. Valisure’s lab testing found some Zantac formulas contain more than 3,000,000 ng per tablet.
Source: Valisure

Defendants in lawsuits include Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC, Sanofi US Services Inc., Chattem Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. Lawsuits claim Zantac’s design is defective because its active ingredient, ranitidine, is an unstable molecule. Ranitidine may actually form NDMA in a person’s stomach, according to the online pharmacy Valisure.

Plaintiffs argue defendants failed to warn the public that ranitidine could cause cancer. As far back as 1981, drugmakers were aware of several studies pointing to the dangers of NDMA formation with Zantac, according a lawsuit filed by Michael and Deborah Combs. The studies found that the potential of forming NDMA increases when ranitidine makes contact with nitrite in the body.

Status of Zantac Lawsuits

Zantac lawsuits are in the initial stages, and discovery has started. It’s supposed to be completed by December of 2021. Federal Zantac lawsuits have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Florida. This means lawsuits from across the country have been moved to one court to streamline the process and share resources.

In July 2021, Judge Robin L. Rosenberg dismissed cases against generic drugmakers including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Amneal Pharmaceuticals and others because federal law prevents them from being sued. There are 670 lawsuits pending in the MDL before Judge Robin L. Rosenberg, as of July 15, 2021.

Because plaintiffs in Zantac litigation allege they have cancer, Rosenberg provided rules for attorneys to take the testimonies of plaintiffs in deteriorating health. Parties may schedule expedited depositions of plaintiffs that may not survive beyond the year or may not be capable of testifying competently within the next six months.

Zantac Class Actions

There are also several proposed Zantac class actions filed by attorneys on behalf of people in New Jersey, California, Florida, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Anyone who bought Zantac or generic ranitidine can join the class action.

Plaintiffs in the class action don’t have to have a cancer diagnosis. They only have to prove they bought the drug and did not receive a warning about the cancer risk. These lawsuits are seeking refunds for the purchase price of any Zantac products plaintiffs purchased and not compensation for cancer.

Has There Been a Zantac Settlement?

As of August 10, 2021, there have been no Zantac settlements or jury verdicts. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the scheduling of bellwether trials and other court proceedings.

Typically, bellwether trials help plaintiffs and defendants understand how much a case may be worth. Potential settlement amounts are based on a claimant’s injuries, monetary damages and other unique factors.

Lawyers speculate that individual Zantac lawsuit payouts could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars because people who took Zantac could claim the drug caused cancer.

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Which Cancers Are Named in Zantac Lawsuits?

People who have taken Zantac and filed lawsuits reported a wide variety of cancers linked to the drug and NDMA.

Many doctors who diagnosed people with cancer after taking Zantac said they had no family history or genetic markers for cancer, according to Zantac lawyers. Instead, doctors told patients it was caused by something from their environment, which could include NDMA contamination.

Cancers that qualify for Zantac lawsuits include:
  • Bladder cancer and bladder removal
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer and kidney removal
  • Liver cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer

This isn’t an all-inclusive list. Attorneys are accepting cases with many types of cancer. If you developed any kind of cancer after taking Zantac, make sure you contact an attorney to see if you qualify to file a lawsuit.

Other health issues in addition to cancer may be claimed in lawsuits. Make sure you tell your attorney about any other health problems.

Other Health Issues That May Appear with a Zantac Cancer Diagnosis

Doctors who diagnosed people with cancer after taking Zantac also diagnosed them with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) and Crohn’s disease.

Other health conditions associated with Zantac use included in lawsuits include:
  • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) is a rare lung disorder that causes high blood pressure in the lungs. It happens when the blood vessels in the lungs narrow and raise the pressure in the pulmonary artery above normal levels.
  • Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It causes the digestive tract to become inflamed and this causes severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps and weight loss.
Zantac lawsuits concern NDMA

Should You File a Zantac Lawsuit?

If you’ve taken Zantac and developed cancer, you and your family may be facing mounting medical bills, lost income and poor health. Potential compensation from filing a Zantac lawsuit may help you with past, present and future medical costs.

Compensation from a Zantac lawsuit may help with:
  • Travel for treatment
  • Lost wages for you or a family member who may be your caregiver
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost ability to earn
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Funeral expenses
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Who Qualifies for a Zantac Lawsuit?

According to Zantac lawyers, people must satisfy three conditions to potentially qualify for a lawsuit — proven Zantac use, a cancer diagnosis and a connection between the diagnosis and Zantac.

Only a lawyer can properly evaluate a claim, and they can help gather medical records and evidence to build a case.

Zantac Use
Potential claimants have to prove they took Zantac or other ranitidine products. People who have a prescription can provide proof of prescription through medical records. But those who took over-the-counter Zantac must have a receipt and other evidence that shows they took the drug, such as a statement or doctor’s note.
Cancer Diagnosis
The main injury claimed in Zantac and ranitidine lawsuits is cancer. Potential claimants have to have a diagnosis of a type of cancer linked to NDMA. Lawyers list stomach, intestine, colorectal, bladder, esophageal and liver cancer as the main cancers associated with NDMA in claims.
Connection Between Cancer Diagnosis and Zantac
Generally, taking higher medication doses consistently can help prove the connection. The length of time someone has used the drug also affects the case. For example, some lawyers say claimants should have taken the drug for at least a year before receiving a cancer diagnosis.

People who have filed lawsuits so far have been diagnosed with various cancers. Because veterans are more likely to suffer from stomach acid disorders such as heartburn, the VA regularly prescribed Zantac and ranitidine to veterans before the recall.

Joseph L. Galimidi Sues Sanofi for Breast Cancer

Florida resident Joseph L. Galimidi was one of the first to file an individual Zantac lawsuit in the United States against Sanofi on Sept. 13, 2019. Galimidi had been taking Zantac since 2009 and developed breast cancer, which is rare in men, in 2013.

He demands compensation for his injuries, pain and suffering.

“Despite their knowledge of the risks of cancer associated with Ranitidine and Zantac … Defendants continued to represent that Ranitidine products, including Zantac, did not pose any risks of cancer or other serious health conditions.”
Galimidi v. Sanofi et al.

“While his heartburn was healed, Zantac — laden with N-Nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”), a probable human carcinogen — wreaked havoc in his body and led to his breast cancer,” Galimidi’s complaint said.

During the time Zantac and other ranitidine products have been sold in the United States, there have been reports of cancers linked to Zantac. Galimidi argues Sanofi had plenty of time to study the link and warn the public, but it did not.

Mark Allan Blake Says Zantac Caused Bladder Cancer

Colorado resident Mark Allan Blake filed his Zantac lawsuit against Sanofi US Services Inc., Chattem Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline on Oct. 21, 2019.

Blake started taking prescription Zantac in 1996. He then switched to Zantac OTC which he took four times a week. Doctors diagnosed him with bladder cancer in 2018, and he believes the drug caused it.

According to Blake’s complaint, research has shown that Zantac can produce high levels of NDMA since at least 1981. Manufacturers should have known this and warned the public, but they did not.

“This was not done by accident or through some justifiable negligence. Rather, Defendants knew that it could turn a profit by convincing consumers that Zantac was harmless to humans, and that full disclosure of the true risks of Zantac would limit the amount of money Defendants would make selling Zantac,” Blake’s complaint said.

Veterans File Lawsuits

Zantac was a popular medication prescribed to military veterans through the VA, and now veterans are filing lawsuits after getting a cancer diagnosis.

After the FDA issued its market withdrawal notice, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) advised military beneficiaries to talk to their doctors about a prescription Zantac alternative in a communication dated April 15, 2020.

DHA advised beneficiaries taking OTC Zantac to stop taking it immediately and dispose of the medication according to FDA guidelines. DHA told patients to report any Zantac adverse reactions to the FDA.

The DHA notice didn’t warn veterans specifically about cancer risk and NDMA, but it did warn that “the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.”

Questions Your Zantac Lawyer May Ask

What have you been diagnosed with?
Individuals filing Zantac lawsuits have been diagnosed with cancer, typically bladder and stomach cancer, by their doctor. The lawyer handling your case will want to know what you were officially diagnosed with and when.

How long did you take Zantac?
People seeking compensation for Zantac-related injuries generally had taken Zantac for at least a year before they received their cancer diagnosis. It may be hard to remember the length of time you took Zantac, but do your best to estimate this timeframe. It’s recommended that you provide your lawyer with copies of your prescription or medical records to support your claims.

How are you being treated for your cancer?
Come to your consultation prepared to discuss your cancer treatment plan with your attorney as well as whether it’s been working. Your treatment may depend on the type of cancer you have and the stage in which it was diagnosed.

Do you have a personal or family history of cancer?
If you or a member of your family have had cancer before, you may be more at risk of developing it again. Provide a copy of your medical records and be ready to discuss your family’s medical history.

Are you experiencing any other serious side effects?
While Zantac side effects are rare, you should let your attorney know if you’ve experienced issues with your central nervous system, cardiovascular side effects, gastrointestinal issues, liver failure or any other serious conditions. Let him or her know about the effect these have had on your ability to perform daily activities.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.