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Zantac Lawsuit FAQ

Since the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recalled Zantac and other products containing ranitidine, many injured parties have filed Zantac cancer lawsuits seeking compensation for damages.

Thousands of lawsuits will likely reach sizable settlements in the next several years to pay for the plaintiff's medical bills, lost wages, future lost earnings, mental anguish, loss of consortium, pain, and suffering.

View Video Transcript

Jonathan: Hello. I am Jonathan Rosenfeld. And today I am joined by my colleague, Marty Gould, and we are going to talk about the Zantac litigation. Marty, first off, thank you for joining me today. I appreciate it.

Marty: Thanks for having me on, Jon.

Jonathan: Marty, to begin with, I wanna talk about Zantac lawsuits in 2021. I'd like you to sort of bring us up to date in terms of what the status of the Zantac litigation is. You know, lots of cases have been filed, lots of news headlines, but can you sort of bring us up to date in terms of where the litigation stands as of today in 2021?

Marty: Sure. Thanks for having me on, Jon. In terms of where we're at with the Zantac cases, hundreds and hundreds of cases have been filed across the country, thousands of cases. They've been consolidated into a multi-district litigation in Florida, in the Southern District of Florida. This is done for efficiency purposes so that the discovery in the case can be performed at the same time and you don't have different rulings in hundreds of different courts. Each case is still an individual case because everybody's injuries and exposures are different, but this stage of the case is all being done at the same time. We can expect some of the first trials, what's called bellwether trials to go at the end of 2022. That's the hope. And that will give us a good assessment of what's gonna happen with this litigation.

Jonathan: So one of the things that is related to every single type of civil action is the statute of limitations, the time that you have to file a lawsuit. How does the statute of limitations come into play with respect to Zantac lawsuits? In other words, if someone's watching this and they' know, they think they may have a potential case and they're asking you how long do I have to file a case, how would you respond to that?

Marty: Well, the first question I would ask is in what state did you take Zantac? So one of the most important things is for a client or potential client to immediately call a lawyer and have them assess their case because the statute of limitations that would apply would be the one typically where the exposure happened, so where the client was buying the Zantac taking it. And that state's statute limitations for personal injury cases, for products liability cases would apply. So that's why it's very important for somebody who may have a case to immediately call a lawyer experienced in this type of case and find out when your statute limitations is.

Jonathan: In terms of civil cases, everything ultimately comes down to one thing. It's really about getting compensation, getting financial compensation for your particular injury, for your particular situation. In terms of the Zantac cases, a lot of times people are asking, you know, is there a set payout for a Zantac lawsuit? What is the average settlement for a Zantac case? We know that these cases are still really much in their infancy as far as the litigation goes, but can you give us an idea as to the elements of damages in these cases and how they may be valued?

Marty: So like you mentioned, we're still in the earlier stages of the case. There's no cases that have settled yet. You know, every case is gonna be different. The value of the case is gonna be contingent on the individual diagnosis, the treatment, and the experience of that person. You know, these are people who have cancer, many of them are undergoing chemotherapy, invasive surgeries, some people have lost loved ones, these are catastrophic injuries. So in a personal injury case like this, you can pursue compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, you know, you lost a loved one, you know, loss of society, loss of support, you know, emotional distress. These are all things that you can legally seek compensation for. And everybody's case is gonna be a little bit different based off their experiences, but these are very serious cases and they're being treated as very serious cases.

Jonathan: So potentially, you know, people could be looking at substantial damages just in terms of their past and future medical care alone in some of these situations. Correct?

Marty: Exactly. And you can get, you know, the past medical expenses which can be significant in a cancer case, future medical care, monitoring of somebody's cancer, you know, in those cases where some hopefully has survived and is in remission. And at the end of the day, you know, we're alleging that, you know, lives were lost, families were ruined, these are very serious and catastrophic injuries, and that's the way this case should be treated.

Jonathan: Now, one of the things that people also look at, you know, and when I say people look at, you know, a lot of times you can see what is trending on the internet, but one of the things that comes up periodically is has anyone won a Zantac lawsuit as of today, as of August 2021? I think you mentioned earlier that these cases are really early on in terms of their litigation, but if someone's looking and saying, "Hey, has anyone won a Zantac lawsuit?" The short answer is what?

Marty: The short answer, Jon, is no. Nobody has tried these cases yet. The discovery is still ongoing. There's a lot being done right now. The goal is to have trials go in 2022. The expectation is probably toward the end of the year. There's much that has to be done before that. And those will be the bellwether cases, those first cases going to trial which will be critical and important in terms of assessing what's gonna happen with this litigation.

Jonathan: In terms of who can file a Zantac lawsuit, who would qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Zantac under the guidelines that we're, you know, using as of today? You know, is it the individual? Is it the family? Is it both? Can you give us an idea as to who may qualify to bring the case?

Marty: Sure. So in terms of who may bring the case, typically it would be the person who took the Zantac and has cancer. If it's a situation where tragically that person has already died, the family can bring the case on behalf of that loved one. So they would bring the case as the administrators of the estate of the family member who is now deceased. The criteria that we're looking at is, has the person...did the individual take Zantac on a daily or regular basis for at least six months, and after taking Zantac, were you diagnosed with any of the following cancers? And these are cancers that are most closely associated with links to NDMA in the gastrointestinal system which the drug was impacting. Those cancers are stomach and gastric cancer, intestinal cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer. But every case is different, so that's why it's very important to speak to a lawyer who can tell you whether or not you meet that criteria.

Jonathan: If someone's watching this video and they're saying to themselves, "You know what, I may have one of those conditions. I did take Zantac for a long period of time, but I don't have that product with me anymore. I either stopped taking it. I threw it out." How does someone prove that they took Zantac at some point in their lives?

Marty: Step one is we always ask the potential client, do you have the Zantac box at your house? If you do, you wanna preserve it. That's something that we're gonna wanna hold onto. That aside, there's many different ways where we can prove that you took Zantac if there's any receipts from purchases, from like a Walgreens, a CVS, or any other drug store, medical records. Sometimes there's gonna be references to the fact that you were taking Zantac or you might have been prescribed Zantac from your doctor and that certainly will be in the record. Local pharmacy records. You know, oftentimes people had rewards programs, rewards cards where their name and their entire history of the drugs that they purchased at the store are documented. And even in cases where you don't have any of that, you know, this is something that could have been purchased over the counter. The testimony of the witness or family members, that's also evidence. So, you know, if we get an affidavit from you or if you take a deposition and you say that you are purchasing Zantac, that's evidence in the case, or if you have a family member who can attest to that.

Jonathan: So bottom line is don't let the lack of immediate physical evidence dissuade you from bringing a potential case and filing a claim, correct?

Marty: Correct. So, you know, in the Roundup cases, many people, they would sign off on affidavits attesting to the fact that they had purchased Roundup, or they were exposed to Roundup, you know, in their backyard, gardening, and what have you. You know, so the testimony alone is also evidence in the case in addition to everything else we talked about.

Jonathan: Marty, one of the, I guess types of litigation that this sort of falls under, that the Zantac falls under is, you know, is this considered to be a mass tort? You know, and the word mass tort seems to get thrown around a lot. Can you explain to us what a mass tort is and what a class action is and how...are they pretty much the same? Are they different? Give us a little bit of a breakdown of that and how you would categorize the Zantac litigation.

Marty: So we're taking these cases on as mass torts, and that's because we treat every client and every case as a separate case. You know, everybody had different exposures, different injuries resulting, and everybody's experiences are different. You know, some people tragically lost loved ones, some people, you know, beat the cancer. So these are all factors that are taken into a case, but in terms of how the case is managed, these are being managed as a multi-district litigation. We have one judge who's presiding over essentially all the cases in the pretrial stages. They're managing, you know, you have rulings regarding discovery matters that are being handled in a consistent manner, and then cases are being tried on an individual basis where the individual merits of each case is being tried. That's important too because, you know, in some cases, people really did have catastrophic losses, and that's important for the jury and the defendants to understand that. In terms of a class action, it's similar in the respect that you have one court overseeing the discovery process but you have a few plaintiffs that are filing a case representing the entire class. So each individual isn't necessarily having their case looked at in individual capacity. And in a class-action case, generally, everybody gets the same amount of recovery. You know, they have the same case, same amount of recovery rather than having individual recoveries based off of individual experiences.

Jonathan: So in the case of Zantac and Roundup where there's what's called an MDL that you mentioned, the damages in the cases are evaluated on an individual basis as opposed to a holistic basis where, you know, the damages are looked at on a specific basis, case by case basis. Correct?

Marty: Exactly.

Jonathan: Marty, this was great information. I appreciate your time, your expertise with these updates and I look forward to talking with you again as these cases continue to mature through the litigation process. Thank you.

Marty: Thanks for having me on.

Many injured parties are filing individual and claims or participating in class action suits consolidated in MDL (multidistrict litigation) cases. A personal injury attorney answered some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning Zantac cancer and compensation claims.

Who Makes Zantac?

In 1983, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) developed and released Zantac, reaching a total of $1 billion in heartburn treatment medication sales just three years later. GSK's patent in the United States to control products containing ranitidine expired in 1997.

For over twenty years, other pharmaceutical manufacturers gained the right to manufacture and sell over-the-counter versions of Zantac formulated with the same active ingredient, ranitidine, that were only previously manufactured and prescription doses.

Between 2004 and 2017, Pfizer made and distributed over-the-counter doses of Zantac in the United States. In 2017, Sanofi SA (the world's largest pharmaceutical company) acquired the Zantac division from Pfizer.

However, in early 2020, the FDA recalled Zantac and all other generic forms of heartburn medication after detecting high levels NDMA, a known carcinogen. This recall occurred just a few months after some ranitidine product manufacturers, including Sanofi, pulled their products from drug store shelves in Canada, France, and the United States.

What Should I Expect in a Zantac Lawsuit?

Determining how much your Zantac claim is worth will be based on the extent of your damages and Zantac cancer. Damages refer to compensation for losses the plaintiff suffered as a result of another's negligence or intent.

Filing a Zantac claim is the same as asking the defendant (pharmaceutical company) to compensate you for your losses and damages. You will be required to mitigate your family's financial impact caused by the pharmaceutical maker's wrongdoing.

Your personal injury attorney will calculate your case's value based on numerous factors, including:

The cost of past, current, and future medical needs to treat your Zantac-related issues

Your lost income and future diminished earning capacity

Your non-economic damages including mental anguish, emotional distress, shock, anxiety, humiliation, sleepiness, pain-and-suffering

Why are US Veterans Filing Zantac Cancer Lawsuits Against the Manufacturer?

Doctors at the United States Veterans Administration prescribed military veterans Zantac and the generic form ranitidine for years until the Food and Drug Administration issued its withdrawal notice. In April 2020, the Defense Health Agency advised military personnel prescribed Zantac to talk to their doctors in finding alternative treatments to avoid the use of medications containing ranitidine.

The Federal Agency advised personnel to take over-the-counter heartburn drugs formulated with ranitidine, including Zantac, to stop taking the pill immediately. The personnel was informed to dispose of the drug according to FDA guidelines.

However, the Defense Health Agency failed to warn veterans taking the medication about the correlation of Zantac contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogenic, and the potential cancer risks.

However, the agency did say 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."

Do I Qualify for a Zantac Lawsuit?

Any individual taking heartburn medications Zantac and ranitidine who subsequently developed drug-related health issues can likely pursue a Zantac cancer lawsuit. However, simply experiencing some of the Zantac side effects might not result in a successful lawsuit.

In 2020, the FDA issued a warning to consumers that Zantac use was linked to cancer due to unacceptable amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogenic.

Potential plaintiffs that might qualify for filing a Zantac lawsuit include those who developed cancer after taking the heartburn prevention medication that also treats GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stomach ulcers, and other conditions that produce too much stomach acid.

These cancers could include:

  • Brain
  • Islet Cell Tumors
  • Kidney
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Thyroid

Researchers have found a correlation between excessive exposure to carcinogenic Zantac-related NDMA and developing cancer, including cancer of the:

  • Bladder
  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Esophagus
  • Intestines
  • Liver
  • Lung (involving non-smokers)
  • Pancreas
  • Prostate
  • Stomach

For extensive discussion on the qualifications for a Zantac lawsuit, look here.

How Much is the Zantac Cancer Lawsuit Worth?

In April 2020, the FDA recalled OTC Zantac (ranitidine) products due to the correlation between taking the medication and developing cancer. Since then, many individuals have started filing claims and lawsuits against the manufacturer seeking compensation for their damages.

Litigations against the manufacturer have only just begun. Attorneys have begun discussing potential legal opportunities with their clients, evaluating their case's validity, and filing lawsuits. Resolutions to these cases likely will not begin until the entire process reaches the courts.

Thousands or hundreds of thousands of injured parties will likely file a Zantac lawsuit in the years ahead out of the estimated 60 million people who regularly use Zantac products.

For comprehensive information related to the ‘how much a Zantac lawsuit is worth’ look here.

Is There a Zantac Class-Action Lawsuit?

In October 2019, nine plaintiffs filed a civil lawsuit against the makers of heartburn medications containing generic ranitidine, including Zantac. The lawsuit was in response to the FDA announcement of Zantac products contaminated by the known carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

The basis of the lawsuit claims that the nitrosamine found in Zantac and ranitidine is a component of the drug, unlike nitrosamine found in valsartan, or other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). The plaintiffs argue that the manufacturers knew for decades that the problem existed but continued distributing the drug in both prescription and over-the-counter forms.

The plaintiffs argue that every dose of Zantac and other products formulated with nitrosamine have excessive levels of NDMA, exceeding the FDA's allowable limits. The basis of the lawsuit argues that NDMA alters human DNA by inducing alkylating damage.

For comprehensive discussion of Zantac class action lawsuits, look here.

What are the Side Effects of Taking Zantac Products?

Known side effects and adverse reactions to taking brand-name Zantac, or generic ranitidine include:

  • Blood disorders, including thrombocytopenia
  • Cardiovascular issues including atrioventricular block, bradycardia, tachycardia, slow heart rate, and premature ventricular beats
  • Gastrointestinal problems including vitamin B12 deficiency and increased risk of Clostridium difficile colitis
  • Headaches, dizziness, malaise, insomnia, vertigo, somnolence, and other central nervous system issues
  • Liver problems
  • Pneumonia
  • Skin Problems including vasculitis, hair loss, and erythema multiforme

Will I Get Cancer After Taking Zantac?

In September 2019, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced it had detected unacceptable NDMA levels, a known carcinogenic, in samples of over-the-counter forms of medications formulated with ranitidine.

Within days after the FDA's announcement, some drugmakers, including Novartis/Sandoz and Apotex, stopped distributing their prescribed heartburn pills while the investigation continued. However, the companies did not formally recall their products from patient use in the United States.

In October 2019, Walgreens, CVS, and other drugs or chains in the United States pulled Zantac and ranitidine heartburn pills from their shelves. The Canadian and French governments also ask companies to stop distributing Zantac and ranitidine medications stating that "current evidence suggests that NDMA may be present in ranitidine regardless of the manufacturer."

By April 2020, the FDA announced a formal Zantac recall of all OTC drugs of prescription medications formulated with generic ranitidine due to NDMA human carcinogen contamination.

Zantac and other heartburn-treating medications containing ranitidine are no longer available for prescription or OTC purchase. Many Zantac users have found discomfort relief by taking antacids to relieve their discomfort now that the heartburn product is no longer available.

Others are making lifestyle changes, including avoiding spicy foods, specific beverages, large meals, fatty foods, and alcohol consumption to reduce heartburn episodes.

How Do I Prove I Was Injured From Taking Zantac?

To reach a negotiated settlement or take your case to trial, you or your attorney will need to prove the correlation between taking Zantac and developing cancer. Your medical condition might be the result of NDMA exposure or from the medication itself.

You will need to show that you were diagnosed with cancer associated with taking products containing heartburn pills, including Zantac like:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer (early-onset)
  • Intestinal Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer

You will need an accurate diagnosis by a competent physician that documents your cancerous condition. Your medical records can provide the corroborating evidence you need to support your case.

Next, you will need to show how your taking Zantac led to your developing cancer. Typically, individuals taking higher doses of Zantac frequently might easily prove a correlation, especially if they received significant exposure to the carcinogenic NDMA found in the drug's ingredients.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Filing Zantac Lawsuits?

Like all personal injury cases, the length of time victims have to file Zantac cancer lawsuits based on product liability (dangerous drugs) is determined by state or federal statute of limitations laws. Each state will restrict the time limits the injured party can file a Zantac claim or lawsuit against the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

In Illinois, potential plaintiffs have two years to file a claim or lawsuit against Glaxo SmithKline, Pfizer, Sanofi SA, or another drugmaker when they were first diagnosed with cancer associated with Zantac use. These cancers could include cancer of the:

  • Colon
  • Esophagus
  • Leukemia
  • Liver
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Pancreas
  • Prostate (early-onset)
  • Small intestine
  • Stomach

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney to Handle My Prescription Zantac Cancer Lawsuit?

Were you, or a family member, or loved one, harmed by taking prescription Zantac and were diagnosed with cancer? Were you unaware of the risk of cancer after taking the product or did not know there was a Zantac recall?

The drugmaker likely owes you compensation for your damages after the FDA announced they had found a high level of NDMA in Zantac, a known carcinogenic. However, handling the case without legal representation might not provide a successful outcome.

A personal injury attorney specializing in dangerous drug cases with a successful track record could provide answers to your questions, fight the drug companies on your behalf, and negotiate an acceptable settlement to avoid trial litigation.

Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free case review. Our law firm accepts Zantac recall lawsuits on a contingency basis to prevent paying any upfront costs until your case is resolved. Our "No-Win/No Pay" Guarantee ensures you will owe us nothing if we do not win your case.

How Much Do Lawyers Get in a Zantac Settlement?

Like all cases involving product liability (defective medications), a personal injury attorney will likely take one-third (33.33%) to build a case and negotiate an acceptable settlement from the defendant. However, if the plaintiff (injured party) and the defendant (pharmaceutical maker) cannot reach an agreement, the case will likely need to go to trial.

Presenting evidence in front of a judge and jury is significantly more challenging for a personal injury attorney to win a jury trial award. In these instances, cancer lawyers will likely take 40% in attorney fees of the total amount, leaving the plaintiff with the remainder, minus expenses, court costs, filing fees, and other expenses to resolve the case.

What If I Do Not Agree to Accept the Zantac Lawsuit Settlement Offer?

You are not required to accept any settlement offer by the defendant (drugmaker) in a Zantac lawsuit. Not agreeing to accept the offer will force the case to go to trial.

However, you have no guarantee that you win your case in front of a judge and jury or how much the jury would award you to resolve your case if the verdict was in your favor. Zantac plaintiffs should talk with their personal injury attorneys to discuss whether the settlement is fair based on the chance of successfully resolving the case at trial.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Zantac Cancer Settlement Check?

Once the plaintiff accepts the defendant's settlement offer, the check will usually arrive at their personal injury lawyer's law offices within 6 to 8 weeks. At that time, the lawyer will usually cash the check into the law firm's escrow account to pay out of all outstanding balances on the plaintiff's medical care after receiving the final bill.

Next, the attorney will withdraw funds to pay for all expenses to negotiate the settlement, including the cost of travel, postage, depositions, and expert testimony. Finally, the lawyer will take their typical one-third in legal fees before sending the remaining funds to their client.

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