Zantac is the brand name for ranitidine, a common over-the-counter prescription drug for heartburn.
Zantac is an H2 blocker, a class of medication that lowers the levels of stomach acid by blocking the histamine receptors in the stomach. Apart from heartburn, the drug also helps manage gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcers.
Despite these uses, recent research shows Zantac is causing cancer in humans. Could this be true? Here is everything you need to know about Zantac lawsuits.
Can Zantac Cause Cancer?
There is a strong argument that brand and over-the-counter Zantac causes cancer.
Zantac poses a risk for cancer because of its active ingredient, ranitidine. Based on independent laboratory tests reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019, some ranitidine products contained unacceptable N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) levels.
Exposure to high amounts of NDMA can cause liver damage and increase the risk of cancer in the liver, stomach, colon, and gastrointestinal tract. These findings led the FDA to recall all ranitidine products from the market in 2020.
There are people who have taken brand or generic Zantac as a heartburn medication for many years. Had they been aware of the presence of NDMA and its risks, they would not have taken it, and doctors would neither have prescribed the drug knowing its consequences.
Do I Have a Case? How Can I Join the Lawsuit?
Anyone who has used Zantac and later suffered severe health issues may be eligible to file a lawsuit under product liability law. So, if you took Zantac and developed cancer, you can pursue legal action.
To join the Zantac class action lawsuit, you must prove that:
- You purchased Zantac from a pharmacy or other drug store;
- You used the recommended dosage of Zantac
- You relied on faulty warnings that did not specify NDMA or other component parts within Zantac may lead to health problems like cancer
- You consequently developed cancer or other severe medical condition
- Zantac was the likely cause of your illness and damages
Once accepted to participate in the litigation, you will be required to show documents supporting your diagnosis, Zantac use, and damages. A Zantac lawyer can collaborate with you to collect these documents and develop a strong case for you.
Remember, there could be a statute of limitations to filing a Zantac cancer lawsuit following your cancer diagnosis. So, consult with an attorney soon.
What Is the Nature of a Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit allows a group of people who suffered the same or similar injuries because of using the same product or being subject to the same wrongful action by someone else.
In a class action suit, the court authorizes a single person or a small group of people to represent the interests of the larger harmed group. This is known as a class representative.
A motion must be filed with the court authorizing the class representative to act as a lead plaintiff on behalf of the other members. Thereafter, the single person or the small group is enlisted as the complainant.
A class-action lawsuit permits a large group of people – sometimes thousands – who suffered similar damages to litigate theirs through a single judicial setting. Therefore, class action lawsuits foster judicial economy, adjudicatory process efficiency, and claimants’ fairness.
Rule 23 (a) establishes four requirements for representative members of a class to sue or be sued on behalf of all members of the class:
- Numerosity: The claims must be similar, although not necessarily identical, so it can be more practical to solve them in a single lawsuit instead of different lawsuits
- Commonality: The claims also need to have something in common. That means they should contain comparable facts or ask the court to solve related legal questions. That way, the jury will not be forced to hear each claim to differentiate them.
- Adequacy: Plaintiffs must be capable of representing the interests of the whole class adequately and fairly. A class representative must not use the litigation in a manner that adversely takes advantage of fellow plaintiffs or use them to front the cost of the lawsuit.
- Typicality: The claims or defenses of the class representative are similar to the claims or defenses of the whole class.
Are Zantac Lawsuits a Class Action?
The answer is yes. There is a class action when seeking compensation for injuries/damages caused by drugs like zantac.
As mentioned earlier, a class action involves a single lawsuit filed by numerous people who have suffered similar damages. For example, car buyers can pursue a class action against car manufacturers over defective products.
Similarly, millions of people bought and used Zantac without any warnings it could cause cancer. Most of them eventually developed cancer which has drained their health and finances.
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These victims can form a single class of claimants and sue for damages resulting from using this medication.
In fact, Zantac lawsuits have been consolidated into a class action multidistrict litigation (MDL). The initial cases are expected to go to trial before the closing of the year 2022.
How Much Is a Zantac Case Worth?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac regularly, you could wonder, “how much can I get from the Zantac lawsuit?”
Since this case is a new development, there has not been any settlement that can help us calculate an accurate value of any Zantac litigations. But basically, personal injury cases end up in an out-of-court settlement.
So, Zantac manufacturers like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Novartis, or Sanofi, all of which manufacture Zantac and other ranitidine products might have to settle with most plaintiffs.
Additionally, chances of resolving the Zantac cancer lawsuit with a global settlement are high. It is likely that the cases will be arranged in settlement tiers depending on the strength of the claim and injuries suffered.
Some lawyers predict that top tier cases can be worth $500,000 and above. Second-tier suits could be within the $250,000 bracket, while the lower-tier cases may be worth below $100,000 or less.
But this Zantac lawsuit payout is just a speculation- based on prior mass tort cases with similar injuries.
When Will Zantac’s Lawsuit Be Settled?
Most clients filing a Zantac class action lawsuit will ask this question. But answering it can be a bit tricky for some reason.
As you consider this question, the most crucial thing to remember is that no single Zantac lawsuit settlement had been made as of August 2021. Litigations are going on until now.
Defendants, including the likes of Sanofi and GSK are not making it any easier as they are denying any negligence.
So, a good answer to the question, “when will the Zantac’s lawsuit be settled?”, no matter how frustrating as it sounds, is that it depends. It is not even certain that a settlement will happen.
Without any guarantee that the case will end in a settlement, the outcome of Zantac litigations will be influenced by the evidence and situations surrounding each case. But what if the Zantac lawsuits settle? How long will it take?
Recent mass tort litigations of other unsafe drugs can help us make reasonable predictions. If Zantac’s lawsuits eventually result in a settlement, especially a global lawsuit touching hundreds of plaintiffs in mass torts litigation, it may take a few years before victims recover any compensation.
This estimation is based on several, including the:
- Number of Zantac claims
- Time spent in the discovery phase
- Strength of evidence against Zantac producers
- Length of negotiations between the parties
- Time taken by federal judges to approve a settlement agreement.
Remember, the compensation amount a plaintiff can receive in a mass tort case depends on many factors well, and it’s not guaranteed.
Talk to a Zantac Cancer Attorney About Your Case
If you ever used Zantac or any other ranitidine-based product and developed cancer or any other serious condition, you may meet the eligibility criteria for joining the Zantac MDL.
But you can also pursue a personal injury lawsuit individually if a class action does not seem to suit your needs.
Let Legal Giant partner lawyers review your case if you want to join the Zantac class action.
Our partner lawyers can represent you if you have a valid case against the pharmaceutical company and help you win a befitting compensation to recover your damages. Contact us now to get started.