There has been a lot of bad Zantac lawsuit news. Incredibly, all of this bad news revolves around one person’s opinion of the scientific merit of these lawsuits. But there is still a chance this litigation turns in 2023. There was a trial date set for July 24, 2023 but that case settled.
Here are the latest Zantac news and updates followed by an explanation of this litigation:
August 16, 2023: Plaintiff filed the notice of appeal in the MDL this week. We are a LONG WAY from an opinion from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
There are still 14,728 Zantac lawsuits pending in federal court.
July 30, 2023: We will start seeing more Zantac state court trials as we move forward. The next trial date is in November in California state court. The bet here is that case settles before going to trial. The defendants do not want to take these cases to a jury.
June 21, 2023: After this week’s arbitration decision, Sanofi is not obliged to cover any potential damages Boehringer Ingelheim might incur from the ongoing Zantac lawsuits in the United States. However, the legal storm is far from over for pharmaceutical firms like GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, and Boehringer Ingelheim, who could still confront billions in potential settlement costs and legal penalties associated with the tens of thousands of unsettled lawsuits in state court, and possibly a revived MDL class action.
June 1, 2023: Plaintiff made it past the Saragon hearing and trial is set for next month in the first Zantac lawsuit a jury will hear. It will be interesting to see if Glaxo lets a jury hear this case or whether it will offer a settlement to try to maintain the upper hand in this litigation.
May 23, 2023: Several months ago, all Zantac lawsuits in the federal court MDL were dismissed after the judge ruled that the plaintiffs’ causation evidence was not admissible under the Daubert evidentiary standard.
Since then, the focus of the Zantac litigation has shifted to the state courts, where thousands of additional Zantac cases remain pending. Tomorrow, a judge in California will hold a Sargon hearing (the California equivalent of a Daubert hearing) to evaluate the reliability of the causation evidence. The outcome of this decision will have a significant impact on whether hundreds of Zantac cases can move forward in California and could effect how other states rule on the issue.
March 27, 2023: The news coming out of state court continues to be good. GSK’s attempt to exclude expert testimony linking Zantac to bladder cancer from an upcoming trial has been denied by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo.
March 7, 2023: The FDA is being questioned by Representative Rosa DeLauro regarding its response to a report that GSK hid and minimized cancer risks associated with its heartburn drug, Zantac, for 40 years. Zantac and its generics were pulled from the market in 2020 due to the formation of a probable carcinogen called NDMA. GSK was aware of this risk in 1983 but did not share its findings with senior US managers or the FDA. DeLauro is demanding to know if the FDA plans to investigate GSK’s actions and how it will hold the company accountable.
February 21, 2023: Although the Zantac cancer cases in federal courts are getting dismissed following the ruling by the MDL Judge, there are still thousands of Zantac cases moving forward in state courts, particularly in California. Now a judge in a Zantac case in Alameda County Superior Court is being asked to revisit the admissibility of scientific evidence linking NDMA in Zantac to cancer. The case is scheduled to go to trial next week and the judge now has to determine what expert testimony the plaintiff will be allowed to present. The outcome of this ruling could be very significant for the future of Zantac cases in state courts. Our take is that judges have minds of their own and they will not be bound by what one’s judge’s view. But if multiple judges rule similarly, that would have a chilling effect on other jurisdictions.
January 23, 2023: Read this new pretrial order. Bundling up claims for appeal – which we hoped would be possible (see the update below) – will not fly with Judge Rosenburg. Many plaintiffs will not perfect their appeal. So plaintiffs could win on appeal and have a fraction of the number of victims eligible to pursue compensation. There are still viable state court claims. But for many victims, this litigation has a bleak future.
January 17, 2023:A pending motion could impact the fate of thousands of Zantac plaintiffs on appeal. When the MDL judge ruled that the scientific evidence was inadmissible, that ruling effectively dismissed the roughly 2,000 cases filed and pending in the MDL. Those plaintiffs are now appealing the verdict, and the cases will be reinstated if they win that appeal.
However, the question is what happens to the thousands of unfiled Zantac claims parked on the registry. Right now, unless each of these plaintiffs pays the $400 filing fee and files their case, a victory on appeal won’t benefit them.
The current motion asks the MDL judge to “bundle” these registered claims so they can still be alive after the appeal without requiring all of them to file. A hearing was held last week; a ruling is expected any day.
Meanwhile, the state court Zantac claims continue to move forward.
December 6, 2022: Judge Robin L. Rosenberg dismissed every Zantac lawsuit filed in the MDL class action today. The judge’s opinion is that the plaintiffs’ lawyers could not present enough good science to prove that Zantac caused cancer. She found the plaintiffs’ experts used “unreliable methodologies” to conclude that Zantac’s NDMA caused cancer.
Did the judge get this ruling wrong? We believe so. There are grounds to appeal this ruling. But this is a seismic blow to plaintiffs’ hopes to receive fair compensation in this litigation.
What’s next? What is next is an appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. That is going to be a long process. Meanwhile, the litigation will proceed in state court on claims filed in state court or still need to be filed.
This is a bad day.
November 2, 2022 Update: Last week, the Zantac MDL judge issued an Order directing the parties to submit supplemental briefing regarding what impact a new epidemiological study may have on the admissibility of expert witness testimony.
At the Daubert hearing last month, the MDL Judge expressed concerns from the bench about the admissibility of plaintiffs’ expert evidence on causation.
Shortly after that hearing, the judge allowed the plaintiffs to submit supplemental expert reports to introduce a new study. She also allowed these new experts to be deposed. Now she is allowing both sides to explain how this impacts the overall debate regarding the scientific evidence.
October 18, 2022 Update: The Zantac class action plaintiffs are asking the court for spoilation of evidence sanctions against defendant Sanofi-Aventis after the pharmaceutical company admitted to deleting thousands of potentially relevant emails.
The plaintiffs have also accused Sanofi of engaging in other delay tactics during discovery. The sanction sought by the plaintiffs is an adverse inference against Sanofi. This would give the plaintiffs a victory on specific contested factual issues in the case. The final brief in connection with this motion was filed last month and a hearing will likely be scheduled before a decision is made.
This could be important. But let’s be honest. Everything is secondary to the upcoming Daubert ruling.
October 1, 2022 Update: We await the judge’s rulings on Daubert. Plaintiff’s Zantac lawyers are optimistic that the judge will let a jury decide these claims.
September 21, 2022 Update: The most significant event in the history of the Zantac class action lawsuit began today. Daubert hearings began today. These hearings aim for the MDL judge to determine whether proposed expert witnesses for both should be permitted to testify.
To pass the Daubert “gatekeeping” threshold, the expert testimony must be scientifically sound and reasonably reliable. The Zantac plaintiffs need expert testimony to prove their claims that NDMA in Zantac caused them to develop one of the five “Zantac cancers.” If the Judge is not convinced that the expert evidence is reliable enough to be heard by a jury, the Zantac cancer lawsuits will be dismissed. Our Zantac lawyers think this is very unlikely.
September 14, 2022 Update: The Zantac class action MDL includes over 2,000 plaintiffs who have filed pending lawsuits in federal courts. But approximately 50,000 additional Zantac claimants have been permitted to file claims under the MDL Census Registry program. The Zantac Lawsuit Registry enables prospective plaintiffs to avoid bringing an actual civil lawsuit while still participating in the litigation and any eventual settlement. Yesterday, the Zantac MDL class action judge issued an Order confirming that the claim Registry will be officially closed today.
September 3, 2022 Update: Judge Rosenberg will hold hearings on the motions to exclude expert evidence on causation (known as Daubert motions) filed by both sides later this month. The outcome of these motions will be the most important event in the history of the Zantac cancer class action lawsuit.
The plaintiffs and the defendants filed motions to exclude general causation experts over the summer. The crux of the defense argument is that the epidemiological evidence linking ranitidine to cancer is not reliable enough to be heard by a jury. If the defense motion is granted,d it could cripple the Zantac lawsuits. Most Zantac lawyers think this is unlikely to happen. The science linking the five remaining cancers and NDMA is solid.
September 1, 2022 Update: Finally, some settlement news. Sort of. A group of 3 generic Zantac manufacturers agreed to pay $500,000 this week to settle a Zantac cancer lawsuits to to trial in Illinois state court.
The plaintiff, Joseph Bayer, alleged he developed esophageal cancer after years of taking over-the-counter generic Zantac products. The settlement this week enabled the defendants to avoid what would have been the first Zantac cancer lawsuit to go to trial.
Do we now have the first settlement amount anchor for a Zantac lawsuit? The fact that the defendants were willing to pay $500,000 to avoid going to trial, in this case, is a good indication of what we can expect in the upcoming Zantac MDL bellwether trials. Below, our lawyers project Zantac lawsuit settlement amounts. This is higher than our average per-person settlement estimate.
August 21, 2022 Update: With the Zantac bellwether trials right around the corner, stocks of many big pharma companies that are defendants in the Zantac MDL (e.g., Sanofi and Glaxo) have been dropping significantly this week. The selloff in these stocks is mainly due to growing concerns from Wall Street about the potential liability hit the companies will end up taking from the Zantac litigation. Although there are 2,000 active lawsuits in the Zantac class action, thousands – likely 50,000 – of additional claimants have registered claims. This has sparked significant concerns that Zantac’s litigation price tag could be massive.
August 14, 2022 Update: Here is a roadmap to how their lawyers will defend Zantac cancer suits.
August 3, 2022 Update: There is a national Zantac class action lawsuit. But Zantac lawsuits have also been filed in state court in California. Four cases are set to go to trial in Alameda County in 2023 in February, May, August, and October.
This is helpful to push forward a Zantac settlement. Why? Trial dates put real pressure on the defendants in the Zantac lawsuit. Requiring them to battle in a favorable jurisdiction like Alameda County while also putting their foot on the gas in the federal MDL Zantac class action helps push the effort to make these defendants offer reasonable Zantac settlement amounts or risk a jury trial.
June 27, 2022 Update: Defendants in the Zantac cancer lawsuits filed motions to disqualify the plaintiff’s causation experts. The core of the challenge is that the evidence of the association between NDMA and Zantac is insufficient for the five types of cancer alleged to be connected to this heartburn medication.
These motions are commonly referred to as “Daubert” motions. This is a common tactic utilized by defendants in almost all product liability cases. Daubert challenges are rarely successful because the standard for the disqualification of expert opinions is very high. More to the point, our Zantac lawyers believe the evidence of a connection between the NDMA in Zantac and cancer is strong. The plaintiffs will file oppositions to the Daubert motions and a hearing on the challenges has been set for September.
June 4, 2022 Update: Zantac lawyers continue to battle over pre-trial discovery issues this weeks. The Zantac class action discovery judge recently granted a motion by the plaintiffs asking the Court to compel the defendants (Sanofi and Chattem) to allow the MDL plaintiffs to participate in the upcoming deposition of a Sanofi IT employee in a Zantac case in state court.
For the last 16 months, attorneys for the Zantac plaintiffs have accused Sanofi of deleting internal company emails. The plaintiffs want to depose the Sanofi IT employee because he allegedly had first-hand knowledge of the alleged email deletions. On Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart (interestingly, the same judge on the Trump Mar-O-Lago search warrant) granted the motion and gave the MDL plaintiffs one hour to question the IT employee at his deposition.
As the first Zantac bellwether trial date gets close, tensions are rising for lawyers on both sides. This is typically what you see in any class action lawsuit.
May 17, 2022 Update: The Zantac bellwether test trials in the class action appear to be solidly on track to begin as scheduled this October. Last week, the Zantac MDL Judge issued Pretrial Order #7,7 setting concrete deadlines for summary judgment motions in advance of trial. The deadline for defense motions will be June 13, 2022, with hearings set for September 20. The plaintiffs’ deadline for their motions will be July 6, with hearings set for September 28.
April 28, 2022 Update: There are now 2,100 filed Zantac cancer lawsuits in the MDL. The actual number is much higher. The exact number is harder to pin down now because many Zantac lawsuits are being dismissed which is not one of the five types of cancers that are moving forward in the class action.
April 25, 2022 Update: The critical issue in the Zantac lawsuit is whether NDMA causes cancer. Plaintiff’s experts rely upon an article by Dr. Mira M. Hidajat, a British researcher, to support this scientifically uncontroversial opinion that NDMA causes cancer. This article does not address NDMA in Zantac. But experts – especially Dr. Mary Beth Terry – defending Glaxo and the other defendants went to great lengths to cast doubt about whether the study was scientifically sound. So Zantac plaintiffs’ lawyers asked Dr. Hidajat – who has no prior experience as a litigation expert – to write a report to address the defense experts’ opinions. Naturally, the defense lawyers objected to this rebuttal expert. The court will hold a hearing on Friday to decide whether this expert will be permitted to testify.
About Zantac and Cancer
Zantac (ranitidine) belongs to a family of drugs called histamine-2 or H2 blockers. Ranitidine and other H2 blockers decrease the acid produced in the stomach. H2 blockers are called “antacids” and the Zantac OTC versions are commonly used to treat and prevent heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD) and peptic ulcer disease. Prescription-strength Zantac is used to treat very severe heartburn and more serious conditions such as stomach/intestinal ulcers.
Zantac has been a very popular antacid drug since the 1980s. It was the 50th most prescribed drug with 15 million prescriptions a year. Millions more purchased the medication and its generic equivalent over the counter. Many taking Zantac had just mild gastroesophageal reflux disease and would have never taken the drug unless someone had advised them of the risk of developing cancer.
This drug was initially developed by the European pharmaceutical company Glaxo (n/k/a GlaxoSmithKline). It was approved as a prescription drug in the United States in 1983. Glaxo invested millions aggressively promoting the drug to doctors and the general public.
Zantac became one of the best-selling drugs in pharmaceutical history. It was the first medication to reach $1 billion in annual U.S. sales. Drugmakers made a fortune.
One of the keys to the marketing strategy was the emphasis that this acid reflux drug worked well – which it did – and that it was safe and harmless. But, as anyone reading this likely knows, ranitidine (the active ingredient in Zantac) lab testing found high levels of a chemical called NDMA. This contaminant is known to cause cancer.
In September 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public safety warning about possible cancer risks from Zantac. In the wake of the FDA safety warning, there has been a Zantac recall and ranitidine medications have been abruptly pulled from shelves across the country.
The total number of filed MDL Zantac cancer lawsuits as of September 202, is 2,000. But over 70,000 census forms have been filled. (This results from a tolling agreement that pushes back the statute of limitations if you properly register your claim.).
The gist of the Zantac lawsuit is straight forward. Plaintiffs allege that Zantac degrades over time and from exposure to heat and moisture like most drugs. But unlike most drugs, Zantac degrades into dangerous levels of NDMA, a chemical most experts agree causes cancer. Thousands of people have filed Zantac cancer lawsuits alleging that they developed cancer due to their high levels of NDMA exposure.
N-Nitrosodimethylamine (“NDMA”) is an unstable organic chemical usually created unintentionally as a byproduct ofspecificn industrial processes. NDMA is very toxic to the human body (especially the liver) andhas been recognized as a carcinogen since the 1970s. Dimethylhydrazine, the “D” in NDMA, is a component of rocket fuel. Rocket fuel is about as healthy as you think.
NDMA Causes Cancer
Does Zantac cause cancer? It is hard to construct an argument against the notion that Zantac causes cancer. The evidence that NDMA causes cancer is overwhelming. No ranitidine lawsuit defendant will dispute that this contaminant is a carcinogen. (Update: This is wrong. Zantac defense lawyers struggle to admit the sky is blue.)
NDMA has repeatedly caused cancer in every animal lab test in the last 40 years. Zantac has the constituent molecules to form NDMA. Ranitidine medications degrade from chemical reactions caused by heat, humidity, and time into NDMA. They also degrade in the Zantac user’s stomach, particularly interacting with foods high in nitrates. There is further concern about how Zantac can degrade to NDMA over time, requiring shorter expiration dates and warnings about the risks.
So NDMA causes cancer. The compound is also listed as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and various other organizations. The CDC points out the risks of NDM,A even at low doses. Calling this contaminant a “probable carcinogen” is dramatically understating the case.
Valisure NDMA Testing Findings NMDA in Zantac
In the spring of 2019, Valisure performed independent testing of antacid drugs because of NDMA concerns. The results of this testing came as a shock to many. But it should not have. Ranitidine was suspected back in the 1980s of reacting with nitrite in the stomach to make NDMA.
The Valisure testing found that ranitidine contained levels of NMDA that were off the charts. According to the FDA, the maximum safe level of daily NDMA exposure is 96 nanograms (ng). The Valisure testing found that one over-the-counter Zantac tablet contained 2,511,469 ng of NDMA. This equated to roughly 26,000 times the maximum daily limit of NDMA! That is incredible, right?
Valisure immediately reported its testing results to the FDA in July 2019 in a Citizen Petition. The petition said that the formation of NDMA is likely a chemical reaction caused by the inherent instability of the ranitidine molecule.
FDA Tests on NDMA in Zantac
In September 2019, the FDA announced that it had conducted tests on ranitidine. The FDA’s laboratory tests also found NDMA in ranitidine medications. But the FDA found much lower levels than the Valisure tests. (The FDA tests were flawed. They did not use sodium nitrate which we think everyone will ultimately agree is critical if you want reliable results.) Even the “low levels” of NDMA found in the FDA testing were considered “unacceptable” and led to a public safety warning about the cancer risks.
- New Video: Zantac lawsuit update
New Zantac Studies
In December 2020, another study came out to give us a clear picture of what happened with Zantac and NDMA. The study linked increasing NDMA levels to the degradation of hydrochloride molecules in Zantac. It also lends new credence to the theory that heat that is created when ingesting the drug might contribute to the process that increases the NDMA levels.
(This is no surprise. The over-the-counter box for Zantac states “avoid excessive heat” and to store the drug below 77°F. Was the drug transported using temperature-controlled heating systems? Typically, no.)
Two articles, both published on January 29, 2021, detailed Valisure researchers’ findings on Zantac. One of them, published in JAMA, reported on a simulation of Zantac’s reactions to gastric fluids. The other, published in MedRxiv, also found that certain conditions facilitated Zantac’s transformation into NDMA.
NDMA Concentration Study
In the JAMA article, researchers found that Zantac converts into high NDMA concentrations. They combined simulated gastric fluid (SGF) with Zantac. After two hours, a 150 mg Zantac tablet converts into 947 nanograms.
This was almost 10 times the FDA’s acceptable daily consumption limit for NDMA. The researchers also found that increased nitrate concentrations caused the same tablet to convert into 320,000 ng.
Making matters worse, Zantac forms more quickly into NDMA if consumed with nitrates. Some Zantac lawsuit defendants encouraged users to take Zantac after eating nitrate-rich foods.
The MedRxiv article reported on a cross-section analysis of cancer patients. Valisure researchers compiled data comprising over 10,000 of them. They narrowed it down to patients who used Zantac. The researchers found a positive association between Zantac use and bladder cancer, among others. (Below, our attorneys provide cancers that Zantac OTC and prescription that might cause with the statistics provided by the studies in terms of elevated risk).
What other kinds of cancer does Zantac cause? Our Zantac cancer lawyers believe that more types of cancer are also implicated.
Defendants Will File a Daubert Motion in Zantac Lawsuits
Defendants in these cases know how difficult it is to argue that the NDMA in Zantac does not cause cancer. They will try. But their true focus will be rejecting scientific arguments as to specific cancers that can be caused by Zantac. They will make the plaintiffs prove their cancer diagnosis is from the NDMA in Zantac.
For those types of cancer that are more challenging to link to ranitidine, you can expect the defense lawyers to file what is called a Daubert motion. The purpose of a Daubert motion is to keep those cases out of the courtroom because there is not enough scientific evidence to link a specific cancer to Zantac. The hearing begins on September 21, 2022.
Zantac Defense Lawyers’ Plan of Attack
The defendants will continue to try to exploit what science does not yet fully understand. They will try to diminish the importance of any study that shows NDMA is a known carcinogen or that it is associated with an increased long-term risk of any specific cancer being addressed in the Zantac class action lawsuit.
For example, we do not know the specific amount of NDMA that causes an increased risk of cancer or the amount of NDMA individual plaintiffs were exposed to when they ingested Zantac. But our burden of proof is not this specific. Zantac attorneys have to make this clear to judges and juries.
Hopefully, the science will continue to deliver the evidence plaintiffs’ lawyers need before those motions are heard.
New Bladder Cancer Zantac Study
An American Journal of Gastroenterology-published study found that Zantac patients were more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to non-Zantac patients. Researchers gathered data from Scotland’s Primary Care Clinical Informatics Unit Research database.
They identified over 3,000 bladder cancer cases between 1999 and 2011. The researchers matched each case with no more than five controls. They accounted for age, gender, GP practice, and diagnosis date. The researchers identified Zantac, other H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in the prescription records.
The researchers reported that short-term Zantac use increased the bladder cancer risk by 22 percent. Taking the drug for at least three years increased the risk of a bladder cancer diagnosis by 43 percent compared to non-users. The researchers found that proton pump inhibitor use, even long-term use, was not associated with bladder cancer. The researchers concluded that Zantac use, especially long-term use, increased the bladder cancer risk.
What These Zantac Studies Cumulatively Show
Bigger picture, the latest studies demonstrates that the medical litigation on the association between ranitidine and Zantac continues to support plaintiffs’ attorneys’ theories of liability in the Zantac litigation of the health complications with Zantac.
Ultimately, even before the recall, there was information out there to warn of the ranitidine risk and allow patients to pursue ranitidine alternatives.
What Are Expected Individual Zantac Settlement Compensation Payouts?
The Zantac litigation will most likely be resolved with a global settlement of all cases. The Zantac lawsuit payouts will almost certainly be ranked into settlement tiers based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and the strength of the claim. Cases in the top tier could be worth more than $500,000.
Second-tier cases may be in the $250,000 range. The lowest-tier cases will likely be worth $100,000 or less.
This Zantac lawsuit payout speculation – and, make no mistake, it is pure speculation – is based on previous mass tort cases with similar injuries. Our settlement amount prediction also assumes, as our lawyers believe, that this litigation will be very successful.
When Will the Zantac Lawsuit Settle?
Victims want to know when the Zantac suits will settle. A global settlement in the Zantac litigation will probably not happen soon. Big mass tort class action lawsuits involving thousands of plaintiffs always take time to settle.
Right now, the litigation is preparing for the Daubert hearings and then trial. Our Zantac lawyers still get calls every day from new plaintiffs interested in bringing a Zantac cancer lawsuit.
The good news is Zantac is off-the-market. This helps facilitate a more speedy settlement for Zantac victims.
What is the key to global Zantac settlement? Getting these NDMA cancer cases to trial. The September 2022 Daubert hearings will be a big step forward. The California state court cases moving forward will also give Zantac lawyers another opportunity, and perhaps a better chance, to get a court to give us a trial date. Judge Evelio M. Grillo confirmed the first Zantac bellwether trial will begin on February 13, 2023, in Oakland. The sooner we get trial dates, the greater the likelihood of getting to a global Zantac cancer lawsuit settlement.
Do You Qualify For A Zantac Lawsuit?
Our law firm is accepting new Zantac cases for anyone who meets the following basic criteria:
- You took a prescription or OTC Zantac on a daily or regular basis for at least one year
- After taking Zantac you received a cancer diagnosis for one of these five cancers: liver, stomach, bladder, pancreatic, or esophageal
If you meet these criteria, you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit. You should call a Zantac lawyer today and we are ready to speak with you.
What Is the Risk of NDMA in Zantac?
People taking Zantac might have unknowingly been ingesting incredibly high levels of NDMA contamination into their system daily. Even the lower levels of NDMA found in the FDA testing are alarming high, and much more than the accepted safe daily limits for NDMA. Given the known potential of NDMA to cause cancer in lab animals, Zantac users may be at a significantly increased risk of various types of cancers.
NDMA ingestion from the use of Zantac may cause all types of cancer. Our Zantac lawyers talked about the five cancer than are being handled in the Zantac class action lawsuit. There are some cancers scientists may also link to NDMA in Zantac in the future.
These include breast, kidney, colorectal, prostate, and intestinal cancer. Why are these types of cancer not in the MDL? Because most Zantac lawyers do not believe that a Zantac lawsuit claiming one of these cancers will make it to trial. Because the science is not strong enough yet to support those claims.
- Frequently asked questions about the Zantac MDL lawsuits
- Another new cancer-causing drug, Belviq, and CPAP which is a medical device for sleep apnea
Is There an MDL Zantac Class Action Lawsuit?
Most legal experts are predicting a mass wave of Zantac lawsuits getting filed over the next few years. There are now over 2,000 Zantac cancer lawsuits in federal court as of September 2022. The real number of Zantac lawsuits is over 50,000. The lion’s share of these lawsuits are in the MDL Zantac class action lawsuit that consolidates all pending federal claims to a single federal court.
What does this mean practically for your Zantac cancer lawsuit? It means an individual Zantac lawsuit like yours in federal court is consolidated in Florida under Judge Robin L. Rosenberg for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.
So if you are a resident of California, New York, Illinois, Texas, or any other state, you can still directly file your Zantac lawsuit in MDL in Florida. So instead of looking for a “Zantac lawsuit attorney near me”, you are better served to try to find the best Zantac lawyer for you.
What Can We Expect from Judge Rosenberg?
We do not know. This is the first MDL for Judge Rosenberg, who was appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2014. We do know that the judge made a very tough call to dismiss all of the generic defendants.
The Zantac class action lawsuit gives the plaintiffs’ Zantac lawyers a chance to pool our efforts to learn more about what Glaxo, Sanofi, and Boehringer knew about NDMAs in Zantac products and how that impacted your cancer risk.
What Will Zantac Victims Have to Do MDL?
Not much. You would have to fill out a comprehensive information sheet setting out your medical history. From there, for most victims, you pretty much just wait and hope to get a settlement offer.
A short-form complaint is also very easy. So instead of filling out a long legal complaint, you simply incorporate the master complaint filed in the MDL and allege
- the defendants (which your lawyers will do for you)
- where you would have filed the lawsuit if there was not an MDL
- whether you used the prescription drug or over-the-counter
- the type of cancer you have/had
- the claims you are filing (by checking off boxes)
The Zantac class action lawsuit is moving forward and has some slow patches. Besides Covid, the reason the Zantac lawsuit is moving slowly is the litigation was a logistical mess. There were so many issues with distributor defendants, generic manufacturers, discovery disputes, etc. That took a while to resolve. Zantac trials will start this fall with the all-important Daubert hearing in July 2022.
There are also Zantac suits in state court and, as our lawyers talked about in the update above, these cases may go to trial before the MDL Zantac lawsuits.
More than the outcome of the bellwether trials, the Daubert motion on general causation will be the key in determining the settlement amounts in the Zantac cancer lawsuits, both in the MDL and in the California state court Zantac litigation.
Why? The defendants dispute that the sky is blue in the Zantac litigation. But there are things we know we know. We know that Zantac had NDMA. We know that NDMA causes a host of health complications including cancer. The real battlefield in these cases is whether NDMA was a substantial contributing cause to the victim’s cancer.
Scientists know that NDMA is more likely to cause some cancers than others. So the question is will be whether the judge believes the science is clear enough to allow the lawsuits to proceed to a jury on a specific type of cancer.
What Do Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Think About the Expected Settlement Amounts of Zantac Lawsuits?
We talk above generally about the expected settlement amounts in the Zantac lawsuits. This is another way of asking the question. What are Zantac lawsuit lawyers thinking?
Our lawyers frequently talk to other attorneys about what they think about what the expected settlement compensation payouts might be in the Zantac lawsuits. There are some mass torts out there that plaintiffs’ attorneys almost universally believe are slam-dunk cases that will have a very high settlement value.
So what about Zantac? There is no consensus among Zantac lawyers on what the settlement amounts might be in these cases. Some attorneys are very high on these cases. Our law firm believes Zantac compensation will be high in terms of jury payouts and settlement amounts in the Zantac class action.
Other Zantac lawyers are less impressed with what they think these cancer lawsuit settlement amounts will be in these cases. This is true even for some attorneys who are advertising online and on television. One reason why there are so many Zantac lawsuits is that the tolling agreement and short-form complaint make these cases easy and cheap to file. So lawyers who are not gung ho on the viability of these lawsuits are still bringing suits because the effort required to file a claim is so small.
So the take-home message is that there is a wide range of opinions on how successful the Zantac MDL litigation will be. That may not be the answer you want to hear. But our attorneys think it is important that you understand that different people have different views on what the Zantac compensation payout amounts will be. Again, our lawyers are bullish on what we think Zantac settlement amounts will ultimately be for the five cancers that remain in the Zantac class action lawsuit.
Who Will Be in This Zantac Class Action?
Prospective Zantac plaintiffs will include anyone who regularly used Zantac and was diagnosed with cancer. The highest individual payouts in these cases will have a cancer diagnosis with the five cancers most closely linked to NDMA and the gastrointestinal system which the drug impacts. These include Zantac patients with the following cancers:
- Bladder (our lawyers believe bladder cancer cases are particularly strong in terms of linking bladder cancer to NDMA)
- Stomach (include adenocarcinoma, carcinoid tumors, gastric lymphomas, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors)
- Pancreatic (the risk may double from Zantac use)
Except for thyroid cancer, these are the cancers listed on the latest version (version 2) of the short-form complaint in the MDL. Our attorneys believe the cancers in bold have the strongest science in their corner. But all of these cancers are likely caused by excessive NDMA.
There is a spate of research now on NDMA and the type of cancers Zantac can cause. The Sloane Memorial Cancer Center in particular is expected to come out with research that will narrow down the cancers we are at greatest risk for with NDMA exposure.
Zantac Settlement Amount
If you are thinking of joining the Zantac lawsuits you naturally want to know what settlement amount speculation of these cases might be and the possible range of individual compensation payouts.
Our Zanatc attorneys gave you some thoughts on what we think could be the potential per-person Zantac payouts above. Let’s reiterate: we have no real idea. Pre-trial discovery is ongoing. But we can look at other class action lawsuits and speculate and the possible financial compensation victims will receive in these cases if they are successful.
The most natural starting point is the Roundup lawsuits. This is a good comparison because the injury is cancer and liability is similarly hotly contested with good lawyers on both sides.
The defendants will trot our expert witnesses to say ranitidine is not harmful, just like experts testified passionately defending Roundup. But the other similarity our lawyers expect is a settlement that pays out over $10 billion in compensation.
The Roundup cases have an average payout of well over $100,000. The average individual Zantac settlement could be higher. Why might the Zantac lawsuits be worth more? Bayer is still, inexplicably, defending and selling Roundup. Zantac has been pulled off the market. So there is less of a need to defend the product. (2022 Update: there will likely be fewer Zantac compensation claims in the MDL than we saw with Roundup now that the number of cancers has been reduced.)
You might be asking why so little for a cancer wrongful death case. It is a good question. The settlement value of a mass tort case will likely be less than the trial value of the case. The trial value of successful Zantac cases is going to be many millions of dollars.
The Roundup claims are again a good case in point. The verdicts in those cases have all been in the millions. One was $2 billion because the jury awarded punitive damages which is something Glaxo, Sandof, Pfizer, and Boehringer Ingelheim fear. But for cases that settle without going to trial, you can expect a lesser amount.
When will the Zantac lawsuits finally settle? Our lawyers’ best guess is that it will be in 2022. Based on the court’s most recent order on June 18th, it is hard to imagine a global Zantac settlement in 2021. As our lawyers talk about above, you can imagine a Zantac settlement without any trials but it is hard to imagine settlements without a ruling from the court on which cancers (if any) are specifically caused by NDMA from Zantac.
Recent Example Zantac Cancer Lawsuits
Bennett Cohen, a middle-aged resident of upstate New York, became one of the most recent plaintiffs to join the ongoing Zantac litigation earlier this month. Cohen filed his Complaint on November 19, 2021, against a group of 13 named defendants. The defendants included GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
Cohen filed his case directly in the Zantac MDL class action in the Southern District of Florida rather than filing in his home jurisdiction (Eastern District of New York). Cohen’s Complaint alleges that he used both brand name Zantac in both prescription and over-the-counter forms. Cohen claims that he used Zantac regularly for 17 years.
In May 2011, Cohen was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Complaint alleges that Cohen’s prostate cancer was a direct result of his regular use of Zantac and ranitidine for 17 years. He asserts 11 separate causes of action against the defendants. Like most of the Zantac plaintiffs, Cohen’s primary theory of liability is failure to warn.
The plaintiff developed cancer over ten years ago. Why doesn’t the statute of limitations bar his Zantac lawsuit? The reason the deadline to sue has not passed is that he could not have connected NDMA in Zantac with his cancer until the recall. (Call a Zantac attorney to determine the deadline to file a lawsuit in your case.)
No Longer Accepting Zantac Cases
At this time, our law firm is no longer accepting new Zantac cancer cases.