As of September 2019, several class action and individual lawsuits have been filed against top Zantac (ranitidine) drug manufacturers for failing to disclose the potential health risks posed by a cancer-causing chemical, NDMA, in their products.
The types of Zantac lawsuits being filed against drug manufacturers include personal injury (cancer), product liability, and wrongful death cases. Many individuals who are suing Zantac drugmakers are people who have been diagnosed with cancer after regularly taking Zantac, or are suing on behalf of a loved one who developed cancer and passed away after taking Zantac.
Some of the pharmaceutical companies (defendants) named in recent Zantac lawsuits include:
- Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC
- Sanofi U.S. Services Inc.
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Chattem, Inc.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, or developed other serious health problems after taking Zantac, you may be eligible to take legal action against Zantac drugmakers to seek compensation.
Why People Are Suing Zantac Drugmakers
In June 2019, the online pharmacy, Valisure, found toxic levels of a cancer-causing chemical known as NDMA in certain Zantac (ranitidine) products. This was discovered during routine testing of product batches.
Valisure reported these findings to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which serves as the primary watchdog for drug evaluation and safety concerns. In September 2019, the FDA released an official notice to healthcare providers and the broader public announcing the NDMA impurity in certain ranitidine products.
The first concern observed in test results of Zantac products was the elevated amounts of NDMA found in the actual drugs—up to 31,000 times higher than the FDA-recommended daily intake limit.
The second concern, confirmed by multiple researchers, is an instability of the ranitidine (Zantac) molecule. According to researchers, the instability of this molecule makes it possible for the human body to produce even higher amounts of NDMA in the body after taking the drug.
Overexposure to NDMA has been linked to several types of cancer, as well as liver disease, liver damage, and reduced kidney function.
To date, the FDA has not told consumers to stop taking Zantac. However, the federal agency has offered several suggestions for drugs to take that are similar to Zantac that do not contain NDMA.
Who Is At Risk For Cancer After Taking Zantac?
Taking Zantac once or twice is unlikely to significantly increase your risk for cancer. The primary population of people deemed at potential risk for serious health problems after taking Zantac are those who have been taking Zantac or generic ranitidine products regularly for years.
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, NDMA “may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time.”
Zantac, or generic ranitidine products, are typically taken by people with gastric reflux issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus, or as a treatment for ulcers. It can also ease heartburn.
If you have taken Zantac on a regular basis, it may be wise to consult your doctor, who can assess you for symptoms of overexposure to NDMA.
Symptoms of overexposure to NDMA include:
- nausea and vomiting
- jaundice (yellow skin)
- stomach cramps
- enlarged liver
- reduced kidney and liver function
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Types Of Zantac Lawsuits: See If You Qualify To File A Lawsuit Against Zantac
Many lawsuits have been filed against Zantac drugmakers since initial reports surfaced linking Zantac and ranitidine products to cancer.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac, or are the surviving loved one of someone who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away after taking Zantac—you may be eligible to take legal action against Zantac drugmakers.
There are several types of lawsuits that have presently been filed against Zantac drugmakers, for reasons ranging from wrongful death, to a product defect, to personal injury and battery.
Zantac Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by surviving loved ones of individuals who have passed away due to unlawful harm posed by a person, product, or service.
Zantac wrongful death lawsuits are filed by individuals whose loved ones developed cancer after taking Zantac or generic ranitidine drugs. Plaintiffs filing these lawsuits allege that Zantac drugmakers violated consumer protection laws by failing to disclose or otherwise recognize that taking Zantac can generate dangerous amounts of the cancer-causing chemical, NDMA, in the body.
By filing an individual lawsuit, surviving loved ones may seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses, including funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, and pain and suffering costs.
Zantac Class Action Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits against Zantac drugmakers are primarily being filed on the premise that the defendants marketed and sold a defective product, leading to increased risk for cancer among those who took the drugs.
Class actions are lawsuits that represent groups of people who have been similarly hurt by a person, product, or service. Unlike individual lawsuits, class action lawsuits distribute settlement amounts in equal shares among plaintiffs. In some cases, this can reduce the amount of compensation individuals recover.
Zantac class actions that are filed as defective product lawsuits may also limit the types of damages plaintiffs can be awarded. Individuals who join a Zantac class action may only be able to recover compensation for money spent on Zantac products, and not additional costs such as current and future medical expenses and mental anguish.
Zantac Multidistrict Lawsuits
Multidistrict litigation lawsuits against Zantac drugmakers involve multiple individual lawsuits that are transferred to a single court. Consolidating these individual lawsuits into multidistrict litigation allows courts to better manage individual lawsuits filed by many people against the same dangerous product or service.
In November 2019, for instance, one group of plaintiffs filed a motion for Zantac multidistrict litigation (MDL), collectively stating that:
“over the more than 30 years that Zantac has been sold in the United States, every one of the millions of the drug’s consumers have been exposed to dangerous levels of NDMA and many thousands of those consumers have contracted cancer as a result.”
Unlike Zantac class action lawsuits, multidistrict litigation allows plaintiffs who are suing drugmakers to receive their own personal settlements. This can allow plaintiffs to recover more compensation than might be awarded through the distributed shares of a class action settlement.
Individual lawsuits that are consolidated into multidistrict litigation may also seek to recover additional damages unable to be sought through a class action, based on the details of each individual plaintiff’s case.
Did Zantac Manufacturers Know Their Drugs Could Cause Cancer?
The answer to this question is currently unknown but is under investigation by several attorney offices representing plaintiffs in Zantac lawsuit cases.
Several plaintiffs suing Zantac drugmakers claim the drugmakers must have known about the NDMA risk, pointing to multiple studies dating back to the 1980s that demonstrate how ranitidine can produce unsafe amounts of NDMA in animals and humans.
Whether drugmakers were aware of this molecular instability and knowingly marketed potentially cancerous drugs may have major implications for how Zantac lawsuits are handled in their respective courts and the types of damages plaintiffs may receive.
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Learn If You Qualify To Sue Zantac Drugmakers
Are you interested in learning if you qualify to file a lawsuit against the Zantac pharmaceutical companies who marketed and sold potentially cancerous drugs? The attorneys of Florin|Roebig can help.
Our personal injury attorneys have been closely following the recent Zantac recalls and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to help individuals recover compensation from drugmakers who failed to warn American consumers of the potentially cancerous effects of their drugs.
Don’t wait to learn if you qualify. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after regularly taking Zantac, call us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated attorneys.