What Should I Expect from My Zantac Lawsuit?
If you wish to pursue a Zantac settlement after being diagnosed with cancer, it is important to understand ahead of time what you should expect from your Zantac lawsuit. For example:
- Zantac and other products containing ranitidine were contaminated with unsafe levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a “probable human carcinogen,” per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug manufacturers allegedly did not do enough to protect customers from NDMA, so many of these customers are now filing suits.
- Zantac cases have been moving through the courts for years. Even the earliest cases have yet to conclude, so you should expect your case to take some time. Zantac litigation will not result in fast cash.
- Many people are diagnosed with different types of cancer—including breast cancer, bladder cancer, and others—after taking Zantac. You may or may not be able to join your case with other plaintiffs’.
- A Zantac lawyer can help your case go more smoothly. They can handle all necessary legal tasks on your behalf, making the process more accessible to those without legal experience or ones dealing with a debilitating cancer diagnosis.
- Settlement amounts are currently difficult to predict since the Zantac bellwether trials are still working their way through the system. However, you can sue for any bodily or financial harm caused by taking Zantac or other ranitidine products.
How much will it cost to file a Zantac cancer lawsuit?
Lawsuit costs depend on many factors, including but not limited to:
- The length of the case: The longer your case goes on, the more your lawyer may need to spend on collecting evidence, court fees, travel, and so on.
- The complexity of the case: If you have a relatively straightforward case where it is easy to show a connection between a drug and your cancer diagnosis, your lawsuit may cost less than one where the connection is not so obvious or if you are suing more than one entity.
- What type of case you file: If you join a class action suit, you can split the cost of discovery (seeking evidence) and other legal expenses with everyone else in the class action. This can decrease the cost of filing a suit and make it easier to take on a big, well-funded drug manufacturer.
- The contract you sign with a law firm: Different firms have different payment policies. Some may charge an hourly rate, but others accept a flat rate—often a percentage of your ultimate settlement, to be paid only after you recover compensation.
No one wants to be surprised about lawsuit expenses after the fact. When considering which law firm to hire, ask direct questions about payment options and how much your case is likely to cost. While the firm may not be able to provide a concrete answer (unforeseen expenses are always a possibility), they should be upfront about cost estimates and how they expect to be paid.
Will I have to go to court if I file a ranitidine lawsuit?
You do not necessarily have to go to court. If you hire a lawyer, they can represent you in the courtroom if and when your case gets to that stage. There are two ways your lawsuit could end. The first way involves you receiving a settlement offer from the drug manufacturer. For this to happen, the party you are suing would have to:
- Believe that they have little or no chance of winning in court
- Believe that they can save time, money, and their reputation by offering plaintiffs a pretrial settlement
- Offer a settlement amount that meets your needs, or agree to sit down with your lawyer and negotiate a settlement you can both live with
This is often a best-case scenario. A pretrial settlement would end your lawsuit and allow you to collect compensation more quickly without going to court. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen. There is always the chance that your compensation will come from a jury award, not a settlement. Also, if the manufacturer loses in court, they can always appeal to a higher court.
If you do have to go to trial, a lawyer can go to court for you. You would not need to travel all the way to the district where the case is being heard or appear in the courtroom. Your lawyer can:
- Represent you in the courtroom by presenting arguments and submitting evidence on your behalf
- Participate in jury selection, eliminating anyone with a potential bias against you
- File all necessary motions and object to the defendant’s behavior if they do not follow courtroom regulations or other laws
- Question any witnesses that they or the defendant ask to testify
- File an appeal if the jury does not find in your favor or continue to represent you if the manufacturer appeals
How long do I have to file a Zantac cancer lawsuit?
Generally, it is best to start ranitidine lawsuits as quickly as possible. Any delay could put your lawsuit—and your ability to collect the compensation you need—in jeopardy. This is because of:
- The statute of limitations: Each state has its own laws about how much time dangerous drug victims have to start their claims. Missing this deadline will end your case before it begins. In many states, the deadline is within a few years of when you discovered the injury.
- The limitations of evidence: Some types of evidence that you need for your case may lose value over time. Others may be misplaced or destroyed. Your case against the drug manufacturer could be easier to prove if you start sooner when more evidence may be available.
- Your health: Cancer is a serious, potentially fatal illness. If your cancer is terminal and you wish to recover compensation before you pass away, it is a good idea to start as soon as possible. If you pass away before the suit is resolved, your relatives have the right to continue the claim and recover compensation on your behalf.
Are you unsure of what the statute of limitations is in your state? A lawyer from your area is familiar with all the relevant laws that may affect your case. They can help you navigate these and other potential obstacles.
Am I joining a class action if I file a Zantac lawsuit?
Joining a class action is one way to sue the drug manufacturers responsible for exposing customers to increased cancer risk. However, not everyone wants to join a class action suit or is qualified to do so. Your options for filing a Zantac lawsuit include:
- Joining a class action: By joining a class action, your case will be combined with those of others, and only one or a few individuals would file their cases on behalf of everyone. You would share in both the expenses of filing a lawsuit and in any potential settlement offers. You would also gain access to any resources or evidence the other plaintiffs have and vice versa.
- Joining multidistrict litigation: A Zantac MDL allows similar cases from across the country to be “centralized,” per the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Like a class action, this can save you money and allow you to share resources with other litigants. However, unlike a class action, everyone must file their own cases rather than relying on a few representative suits.
- Starting an individual lawsuit: To join a class action or MDL, you must have an injury or illness like those of the other people involved—for example, you all have bladder cancer. If your injury is noticeably different, you can start your own legal action. Other plaintiffs with cases like yours may even end up joining your suit, turning it into a class action or MDL after the fact.
Ultimately, whether you join a class action suit is something for you and your lawyer to decide.
What will my lawyer need from me to file a Zantac claim?
Your lawyer will tell you what they need from you at different points during your case. You can expect them to ask for:
- A testimonial statement regarding your use of Zantac and how the cancer is impacting your life
- Any materials (such as medical records, receipts, or bills) that you already possess and that prove your ranitidine exposure cost you money, required medical treatment, and so on
- The names of potential witnesses who can confirm that you took Zantac during the period in question, the severity of your condition, and other crucial points
If your lawyer needs other types of evidence or materials, it is their job to locate and request it. You would not have to worry about building a case by yourself.
There may be times when your lawyer needs you to decide about the future of your claim. Just because they are managing your case for you does not mean it is no longer your case. Your lawyer can help you by:
- Keeping you informed about how your case is going and what is happening
- Explaining all new developments in a way that you can understand
- Going through all available legal options and the benefits and drawbacks of each
- Advising you as to which option may yield the best possible results
Do I need a lawyer to file a ranitidine claim?
It is a good idea to at least consult with a dangerous drug attorney before moving ahead with your case. Many firms offer free case reviews, allowing you to better understand your case at no charge. A free review can help you understand how much work goes into a Zantac cancer lawsuit. This work includes:
- Evaluating your case’s validity: Is your case strong enough to hold up in court? Do you still have time to file based on your state’s laws? A law firm with experience in such cases can tell you quickly whether it is worth moving forward with your claim.
- Deciding how to handle your case: It is not always easy to figure out whether joining a class action or multidistrict litigation is the right move. Talking it over with a mass tort lawyer can assure you that you are making the right choice.
- Determining who to sue: Several companies are getting sued for manufacturing unsafe ranitidine products. Who you can sue depends on which manufacturer(s) sold the drug(s) you took prior to developing cancer.
- Quantifying your injuries: To get a fair settlement or award, you need to determine the monetary worth of both financial losses (e.g., medical bills, loss of income) and physical and emotional suffering (e.g., loss of consortium, disability).
- Collecting evidence: In addition to getting relevant materials from you, your lawyer can request important documents from the drug manufacturer and other involved parties. They can also hire experts to testify that the Zantac is more likely than not the cause of your cancer.
- Handling communications: With legal representation, you do not ever need to communicate directly with the drug manufacturer or anyone representing them. This could save you from making any statements that potentially harm your case.
- Filing paperwork: Lawsuits involve a lot of paperwork, including the initial filings, trial exhibits, scheduling of trial dates, and legal motions. A single mistake on any of these forms could endanger your case’s future. A legal team can ensure all paperwork in your case is filled out correctly and on time.
- Negotiating with others: If the defendant does agree to settle, their initial offer may not be appropriate for your needs. Your lawyer can tell the difference between fair and unfair offers. They will not let the defendant get away with offering an unsatisfactory amount.
Dealing with any of the types of cancer associated with ranitidine exposure is stressful and time-consuming enough on its own. A lawyer’s assistance can make it much easier for you to fight for the compensation you need and to hold the drug manufacturer accountable for putting profits ahead of customer safety.
Contact us for help on your Zantac cancer lawsuit
If you developed cancer after ranitidine exposure, The Sentinel Group would like to help you better understand what you should expect from a Zantac lawsuit. We have contacts with law firms around the country. Fill out our contact form today for help with your case or to learn more about how you can bring the manufacturer to account.