Prescribed more than 15 million times a year, Zantac was thought to be safe for decades. However, in September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration learned that some ranitidine products (generic Zantac) contained low levels of a likely cancer-causing agent.
Since this discovery, pharmaceutical companies and research labs across the U.S. have conducted tests to determine the actual cancer risk associated with Zantac.
If you or someone you know took Zantac regularly and were diagnosed with cancer, you may qualify for filing a lawsuit. As of early 2020, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed, and thousands more are expected.
Zantac Lawsuits: What You Need To Know
The litigation involving Zantac is just getting started. Plaintiffs with cancer, as well as the lawyers representing them, are convinced that Zantac caused their cancer. With a growing number of Zantac cases, many of the individual cases are being consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is meant to streamline the legal process.
Your individual case could make you eligible to join multidistrict litigation. At Florin|Roebig, we have offices in Colorado as well as in other states. If you developed cancer after taking Zantac, you can file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies responsible.
What Is Zantac Used For?
Zantac (ranitidine) is a popular heartburn medication. The medication works by decreasing acid production in the stomach. Ranitidine was first discovered in the 1970s and was available for the public by the early 1980s. In 2017, Zantac was the 48th most prescribed medication in the United States.
Zantac is prescribed and used to treat or prevent:
- peptic ulcer disease
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Zollinger-Elllison syndrome
The Cancer-Causing Agent In Zantac
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was detected in Zantac and other ranitidine products. The FDA says that a human being should not ingest more than 96 nanograms of NDMA a day. Valisure, the company that initially detected unsafe levels of NDMA in Zantac, found levels of NDMA that were between 3,000 and 31,000 times higher than the FDA’s recommended limit.
However, not all forms of ranitidine contain NDMA and are unsafe. If you’re unsure of what to do, consult with your doctor. Since several Zantac and ranitidine products have been voluntarily recalled, your doctor may suggest alternative medications.
Zantac (Ranitidine) Product Recalls
Following the FDA’s announcement, Zantac and other ranitidine products were voluntarily recalled because of detected levels of NDMA. Pharmacies, including CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, have pulled Zantac and ranitidine products from their shelves.
Over a dozen pharmaceutical companies have issued voluntary recalls, including:
- American Health Packaging
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- Appco Pharma
- GSMS Incorporated
- Aurobindo & DG Health
- Novitium Pharma
- Lannett Company, Inc.
- Dr Reddy’s, Kroger, Walgreens, and others
- Perrigo Company
- Apotex Corp.
- Sandoz Inc.
For the most up-to-date recall information, as well as specific products and batch numbers, please visit the FDA’s Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts webpage.
Zantac Lawsuit Defendants
Current Zantac lawsuits are in the initial stages of litigation, but things are moving forward. The lawsuits claim that the defendants were aware of NDMA in Zantac but failed to adequately warn consumers and healthcare providers about the risks for cancer.
Some of the named defendants facing current litigation include:
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Chatten, Inc.
- Sanofi U.S. Services, Inc.
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC
What Are The Grounds For A Zantac Lawsuit?
Zantac lawsuits are being filed on behalf of people who developed cancer as a result of the medication. Cases are considered the strongest when plaintiffs had taken Zantac on a regular basis and were diagnosed with cancer much later.
To establish a case, the lawsuits can make two kinds of claims:
- the medication had a defective design
- the medication’s warning label failed to inform of the risks
Zantac Defective Design Claims
The grounds for this claim are disputed by the FDA, but lawyers and other professionals are concerned that the chemical makeup of ranitidine is “inherently unstable.” Valisure, the online pharmacy that first detected NDMA in Zantac, is convinced that NDMA can form in a person’s body after they take the drug.
Valisure claims that ranitidine is capable of generating millions of nanograms of NDMA after the medication breaks down. If it’s true that the molecular structure of ranitidine is responsible for increasing the risk of cancer, then the medication has a defective design.
In a Zantac lawsuit, lawyers might use the original chemical formula of ranitidine as evidence of a design defect. They may also call expert witnesses who can testify about the inherent design flaws of the medication.
Zantac Failure To Warn Claims
This claim suggests that the drug makers should have been aware of the potential risk of NDMA in Zantac and should have updated the warning label accordingly. The warning label on Zantac and other ranitidine products doesn’t mention any risk for cancer, which may be the best evidence for this argument.
Because the medication label failed to mention NDMA or the possible risk of cancer, consumers and healthcare providers were never fully aware of the potential dangers. If physicians and patients were aware of the risks, they may have selected a safer medication.
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Zantac And The Risk For Cancer
Due to unsafe levels of NDMA detected in ranitidine products, taking Zantac may put you at risk of developing cancer. Various government agencies have linked NDMA with cancer, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA found that lab animals exposed to NDMA developed cancerous tumors in the liver, respiratory tract, and kidneys.
NDMA, and now Zantac, have been linked to the following primary cancers:
- liver cancer
- esophageal cancer
- colorectal cancer
- bladder cancer
- stomach cancer
- lung cancer
The Dangers Of NDMA
NDMA is a chemical substance that was once produced to make rocket fuel in the United States. Today, the substance is only manufactured for research purposes. The chemical is considered very harmful to the organs of both animals and humans.
Animal studies have found that long-term exposure to NDMA can result in liver damage and disease, internal bleeding, various cancers, and death. Animals developed cancer in the liver and lungs after long-term exposure to the chemical, which suggests those who took Zantac regularly are most at risk.
Researchers are concerned that NDMA can form in Zantac during storage, especially when the medication is exposed to high heat. Other researchers, including scientists at Valisure, suggest that ranitidine may convert into NDMA once it enters the human body.
Although there are conflicting studies about the dangers Zantac contaminated with NDMA poses to human beings, this isn’t the first time the chemical triggered dangerous drug lawsuits.
The Difference Between Zantac And Valsartan Lawsuits
The Zantac and valsartan lawsuits are similar, yet different. Both medications were found to contain unsafe levels of NDMA. However, the major difference is that the valsartan claims state that NDMA contaminated the medication as a result of a faulty manufacturing process.
As stated earlier, many professionals are concerned that the chemical structure of ranitidine is inherently linked to the formation of NDMA. This means that countless more individuals will likely come forward to file a Zantac claim. Millions of people have taken the medication, and its flawed chemical makeup could be responsible for causing cancer.
Filing A Zantac Lawsuit In Colorado
Your first step towards filing a Zantac lawsuit in Colorado is hiring a lawyer. A qualified and experienced litigation firm can pour over the details of your claim and help you decide if moving forward is in your best interest. The lawsuit will try to collect compensation for any injury or loss caused by Zantac, which falls under personal injury law.
Zantac Colorado Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits try to collect damages, for any loss, injury, or emotional pain you suffered, from the party responsible for causing you harm. In this case, if you were diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, you and your lawyer will seek to collect damages from the pharmaceutical companies who failed to warn you of the risks.
With a personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer will likely try to prove negligence, or the blatant disregard for your safety. Pharmaceutical companies were negligent about your safety because they failed to warn you of NDMA and its associated risks.
Zantac Colorado Wrongful Death Claims
Also considered a personal injury claim, wrongful death claims assert that someone you know died as the result of taking Zantac. They may have developed cancer after taking Zantac on a regular basis, and a wrongful death claim seeks to hold liable parties (in this case, the pharmaceutical companies) responsible for their negligence.
Zantac Colorado Class Action Lawsuits
Some class action lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Zantac. These lawsuits seek to collect compensation for people who spent money on the medication, but never developed cancer or other health concerns.
There are class action lawsuits against Zantac manufacturers in:
- New Jersey
Although class action lawsuits are a great way to hold manufacturers responsible for producing safe medicines and informing the public of health risks, they don’t try to collect damages for additional pain and suffering. If you have cancer and took Zantac, you’re likely better served by multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Zantac Colorado Multidistrict Litigation
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidates similar individual cases into one court to streamline pretrial and discovery proceedings. This also allows anyone who files a Zantac-related lawsuit to join the litigation, regardless of the state you live in.
In early February, 15 Zantac cases were transferred into MDL in the Southern District of Florida. This means one U.S. District Judge will oversee the cases. The MDL is expected to grow, as over 120 other Zantac cases are pending across various district courts nationwide.
If you’re interested in joining a Zantac MDL in Colorado, reach out to a lawyer. Each individual case within MDL is judged separately, so whether you can join depends on the specific details of your claim. Like other lawsuits, these cases seek to recover damages for injuries related to Zantac.
Zantac Lawsuit Damages
The damages you could be awarded for a Colorado Zantac lawsuit depends on your case. This includes the type of cancer, when the diagnosis occurred, how severe the cancer is, and other factors.
Regardless of the details, an experienced attorney will try to collect damages that include:
- medical expenses related to your cancer or injury
- wages you lost because of your injuries
- physical or mental pain and suffering caused by your cancer, treatment, or recovery
- punitive damages, or damages that punish the defendant for reckless behavior
Zantac Lawyers Serving Colorado And The U.S.
Any medication you’re prescribed must be safe or warn you of potential risks. For Zantac, drugmakers failed to warn the public about the medication’s risk for cancer. If you believe you have cancer that stemmed from Zantac, you can file an individual lawsuit and possibly join multidistrict litigation.
At Florin|Roebig, we’ll examine the merits of your individual case.
Our team of experienced Zantac lawyers includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- John J. Hart
- Michael A. Ossi, O.C.
- Lawrence J. Najem, O.C.
- Andrew M. Leone, O.C.
- Nollys R. Solarte, O.C.
- Brian R. Dettman, O.C.
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Contact Florin|Roebig To File A Zantac Lawsuit Today
Our offices are located in multiple states across the country, including Colorado. Our team of lawyers are experienced in personal injury law and dangerous drug litation, and are well-qualified for assessing your case.
At Florin|Roebig, we offer a free case evaluation to get you started. If we think you have a case against Zantac or ranitidine manufacturers, we’ll begin work on your case immediately.
To start your free case evaluation, or to learn more about filing a Zantac-related claim, contact the offices of Florin|Roebig today.