What Qualifies You for the Zantac Lawsuit?
If you used Zantac or the generic ranitidine and later developed cancer, you may qualify for the Zantac lawsuit. The honorable Judge Robin L. Rosenberg oversees more than 2,000 plaintiffs in ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL 2924, in RE: Zantac (Ranitidine) Products Liability Litigation, is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
As of June 2022, plaintiffs can still file suit and join this mass tort already underway. It may be possible to recover compensation for your medical treatment and other related expenses and losses through legal action. A Zantac cancer lawsuit attorney can help, so fill out our contact form to get in touch with one today. Free consultations are available.
What to Know About Zantac Lawsuits
Zantac lawsuits stem from dangerous levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) found in the medication. NDMA is an organic chemical compound found naturally in many food and water sources. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers low contamination levels “reasonably safe.” However, higher levels or ongoing exposure may be carcinogenic.
Some NDMA is naturally present in Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine. In addition, there is some indication that the body may metabolize higher levels of the compound from the drug. According to a Washington Post report in 2019, independent quality control laboratory Valisure identified this concern and reported it to the FDA and drug manufacturers.
Brand-name Zantac manufacturer Sanofi pulled their ranitidine products from the market quickly. In April 2020, the FDA requested manufacturers of generic ranitidine products do the same. This recall included:
- Prescription-strength medications
- Over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine formulas
- Liquid, pill, and injectable formulas
The first lawsuits related to NMDA cancers occurred around the same time. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated them into MDL 2924 on February 6, 2020. As of June 2022, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida reports that this MDL is in pretrial motions and discovery. The judge plans to begin bellwether trials this fall.
What Type of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
Ranitidine causes tumors in mammals, as documented by hundreds of studies. In fact, some laboratories use it to induce cancer in mice and other test subjects for animal studies. These cancers occur at various organ sites in the body. According to the filings in MDL 2924, plaintiffs allege the same thing is happening in humans.
There is no single type of cancer that research links to NDMA exposure. Instead, many cancers develop and grow in various organ systems. This litigation alleges that consumers who used Zantac or generic ranitidine later developed one of these cancers. This includes:
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Bladder cancer
Experts expect the plaintiffs in the bellwether cases to present many expert witnesses, around 200 scientific studies, and research into human dietary and occupational exposure to NDMA.
Who Is Suing Zantac?
According to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), there were 2,106 plaintiffs active in MDL 2924 on June 15, 2022. These plaintiffs all faced a cancer diagnosis after regular use of ranitidine, including brand-name Zantac and generic formulas. Some are surviving family members of those who died from their cancers.
It is important to know that these plaintiffs come from all walks of life, different cultures, races, and genders. Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and stomach ulcers are extremely common. According to the Washington Post, more than 60 million Americans report heartburn at least once a month. It is no surprise that so many people used Zantac and were potentially exposed to NMDA contamination.
If you used Zantac or a generic formulation of the drug and later received a cancer diagnosis, you may be able to sue Zantac and seek compensation, too.
Types Of Zantac Lawsuits
Those who qualify to pursue Zantac lawsuits have several options. Many are filing individual lawsuits in the applicable jurisdiction with the intention of joining MDL 2924. This allows them to work with others with similar stories to build a case against the drug manufacturers and possibly participate in a global or tiered settlement.
It may also be possible to file a lawsuit and not join the current multidistrict litigation. This is most common in cases with unusual facts that may preclude them from MDL 2924.
In addition, another mass tort may occur related to Zantac NMDA exposure. A class-action lawsuit (CAL) may occur based on the lack of warning on the medication. Those who took Zantac and experienced exposure to NMDA but have not developed cancer might qualify to recover compensation through this CAL. It would likely compensate class members by providing partial refunds of the money they spent on these medications.
What Is the Average Payout for the Zantac Lawsuit?
As of June 2022, no settlements or offers are pending in the Zantac cancer lawsuits or generic ranitidine cases. MDL 2924 is still early in the litigation process, and multidistrict litigation takes time. While it helps the cases move through the legal system more efficiently, a lengthy legal process must occur. Steps include:
- Consolidating the cases into multidistrict litigation
- Assigning the MDL to a U.S. District Court and naming a judge
- Pretrial motions
- Discovery, where both sides gather evidence and build their case
- Bellwether trials, which allow both sides to test their evidence
This process is ongoing as of June 2022. The next steps, according to the U.S. District Court, include:
- Choosing representative cases for bellwether trials
- Completing discovery
- Beginning bellwether trials
The bellwether trials do not directly affect the outcome of other cases, even those with very similar facts and injuries. Instead, they allow the plaintiffs and defense to present evidence and see how a jury will react. The verdict only directly affects the case on trial. However, they indirectly affect settlement offers or other considerations.
Possible Settlement Outcomes
If the initial case or handful of cases do not go well for the drug company, a settlement offer becomes much more likely. This could include:
- A Global Settlement: The drug manufacturers offer a mass settlement to all plaintiffs to settle the majority of the cases, usually by splitting a fund or sum among them.
- A Tiered Settlement: The defendant sorts the plaintiffs into tiers based on the severity of their diagnosis and offers each tier a settlement offer.
- Individual Offers: The drug companies extend individual settlement offers to plaintiffs based on their own damages.
Any cases remaining in the MDL after the conclusion of the bellwether trials will return to their local jurisdiction to go to a jury trial. However, this is not the most common outcome in these cases.
Do I Qualify for a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit or Settlement?
If you received a cancer diagnosis after using Zantac or another ranitidine product, you may qualify to participate in a Zantac cancer lawsuit. This could include a diagnosis of cancer affecting many bodily organs or systems, including:
- The esophagus
- The intestines
- The stomach
- The liver
- The kidneys
- The bladder
- The pancreas
While many of the plaintiffs have a long history of ranitidine use, some used the medication only occasionally for a year or more or used it continuously to manage their symptoms.
Damages You Can Recover in a Zantac Lawsuit
Your attorney can help you document your Zantac use and link it to your cancer diagnosis if you decide to proceed with your claim. A strong case could allow you to pursue compensation for your recoverable damages, including:
- Medical care related to your cancer and treatment, including surgery, hospitalization, chemotherapy, radiation, and more
- Lost income and benefits
- Diminished ability to work and earn
- Documented out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Lawyers are also filing claims for families whose loved ones died from cancer following regular Zantac use. An attorney can assess your case to determine if you qualify to file this type of lawsuit based on your loved one’s wrongful death. These cases may be more complex, but justice and compensation are available for qualifying families.
How to Qualify for a Zantac Lawsuit
To learn if you qualify for a Zantac or generic ranitidine lawsuit, you should speak with an attorney handling these claims today. The law firm will assess your legal options and explain how to take steps to protect yourself and get justice. You can expect them to ask several questions to determine if you may qualify, including:
- When did you take Zantac? How long? For what condition? Was it prescribed or over-the-counter? When did you stop?
- When did you receive your cancer diagnosis? What is your official diagnosis? Where did the cancer originate?
They will discuss with you the necessary evidence to prove a Zantac lawsuit. This generally includes proving you used the drug in question, showing you have a qualifying cancer, and demonstrating a link between the two. You will also need to present evidence to show the value of your related damages, such as medical bills.
1. Providing Proof Of Your Zantac Use
Your attorney will help you gather evidence to show your Zantac use or other NDMA exposure from ranitidine. There are a number of ways you can prove you purchased and used ranitidine products, including:
- Relevant medical records showing recommendations or prescriptions for the medication
- Prescription records showing a script for the medication
- Receipts from purchasing the medication
- Other documentation of prescription, purchase, or use
This is essential in filing your lawsuit, participating in MDL 2924, and recovering damages. If you cannot show you used these medications, you will not be able to develop and prove your case against the manufacturers of these defective drugs.
2. Cancer Diagnosis Following Zantac Use
A diagnosis of a qualifying cancer is necessary to move forward with your Zantac lawsuit and recover compensation. Your relevant medical records generally document it clearly. Your attorney can request and obtain these records with your permission, or you can ask your doctor’s practice about the steps necessary to get a copy.
You will need to have copies of the laboratory testing or other proof of your cancer that includes showing the type and location of the tumor. You must also have evidence of your treatment, side effects, and prognosis to recover damages based on the facts of your case.
3. Showing the Link Between Your Zantac Use and Cancer Diagnosis
One purpose of MDL 2924 is to establish a link between ranitidine drugs—namely Zantac—and the development of cancers at various sites throughout the victims’ bodies. By consolidating these lawsuits into a mass tort, the plaintiffs combine their resources and knowledge, sharing information and documentation to show:
- Zantac and generic ranitidine contain NDMA
- Ranitidine-based formulas metabolize into high levels of NDMA
- NDMA has strong ties to cancer development
- The types of cancer commonly linked to NDMA exposure
Attorneys handling these cases expect to have strong evidence to persuade jurors that Zantac causes excessive NDMA exposure, and this led to plaintiffs’ cancer development. This is possible through evidence that includes:
- Peer-reviewed scientific studies
- Expert testimony
- Longitudinal studies
- Animal studies
- Occupational exposure studies
Also, you will likely need to show that you did not have additional risk factors for developing the type of cancer you have. The defendants could claim you have a genetic predisposition or other environmental exposures that led to cancer instead. Your attorney will work with you to mitigate or eliminate these challenges.
Consult with a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney Today
The best way to learn more about your rights and legal options in the Zantac cancer lawsuit is to meet with a lawyer handling these cases. Free consultations are available. A harmful drug attorney can explain how these cases work, how they can help you prove your injuries, and the steps necessary to hold the drug companies legally responsible. Compensation may be available to help you pay for your cancer treatment and cover your missed income.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your legal case and qualifications for free today. They may represent you with no upfront costs and no out-of-pocket fees. Fill out our contact form, and act now to join the Zantac cancer lawsuit already in progress.