Anyone who used Zantac and later developed a serious health condition may qualify to pursue legal action.
To join a Zantac class action lawsuit, you generally need to prove the following:
- You used Zantac, as indicated on the label.
- You subsequently developed cancer or another serious health condition.
- Zantac likely caused your illness and related damages.
After being accepted to participate in the lawsuit, you will be asked to provide documents to support your diagnosis, Zantac use, and resulting losses. A Zantac cancer lawsuit lawyer can work with you to examine these documents and build a case on your behalf.
Joining a class-action lawsuit has many benefits when compared to filing independently. For example, a class action can cut costs and allow your legal team to work with the other claimants’ lawyers to recover compensation. Contact us today to learn more about this option during a free case evaluation.
Understanding Who Can Join One of the Zantac Class Action Lawsuits
A class-action lawsuit happens when one or more claimants sue a common negligent party. Like in other personal injury claims, the plaintiff must demonstrate the four elements of negligence to show that the defendant is responsible for their losses.
These elements include:
- Duty of care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a legal duty of care. This means that the defendant was responsible for acting reasonably and prudently to avoid causing harm to others.
- Breach of duty: The plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care. This step involves proving that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care expected in the given situation.
- Causation: The plaintiff must establish a causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm suffered. It should be demonstrated that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the losses experienced by the plaintiff.
- Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence of the actual damages or losses they have incurred due to the defendant’s negligence. This could include financial losses, physical injuries, emotional distress, or other measurable harm.
The plaintiff can build a strong case in a class-action lawsuit against the negligent party by satisfying all four elements of negligence.
Proving Negligence in a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit
Participating in a class-action lawsuit against Zantac will allow those who took the medication to hold the drug manufacturer liable and pursue compensation.
Those filing class-action lawsuits against the manufacturers of Zantac and other ranitidine products claim that the manufacturer knew (or should have reasonably known) that their product could cause health complications.
After allowing a harmful drug to enter the marketplace, they should be held responsible for paying for the expenses incurred by those who unwittingly used this medication.
Class Action Cancer Lawsuit Status Update
Back in 2020, numerous proposed Zantac class-action lawsuits were filed by lawyers in six states, according to paperwork filed with the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Many of these early cases were part of the Zantac multidistrict litigation, MDL 2924.
Although a federal judge threw out several cases in December 2022, according to Reuters, tens of thousands of cases remain in state courts as of February 2023. That said, litigating cases involving Zantac may be getting more difficult.
To join one of the current Zantac cancer class action lawsuits, you may need to:
- Have taken a Zantac product at least weekly for one year before receiving a cancer diagnosis.
- Developed cancer within 20 years of the last time you ingested Zantac.
- Received a cancer diagnosis at age 89 or younger.
- Have documentation such as medical records, prescriptions, or over-the-counter purchase receipts proving you took Zantac.
Because events are still unfolding in these cases, contacting a personal injury lawyer who handles product liability claims and stays current on the latest developments is strongly advised.
Recovering Damages in a Class Action Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit allows many who suffered similar damages to pursue compensation through a single legal action. In this case, millions purchased Zantac and did not receive adequate warnings that it might cause cancer in some people.
Class action organizers hope to form a single class of claimants and recover the cost of their damages due to taking this medication.
Compensation can include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Wrongful death
Please remember that the damages you may be eligible to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
Also, not everyone who purchased Zantac and was diagnosed with cancer or a medical condition related to Zantac is eligible to join a class action lawsuit. To qualify, you must have purchased the product within a specified period and suffered damages due to taking it.
What Is the Difference Between a Class Action and a Mass Tort?
Understanding the difference between a class action and a mass tort is essential in legal proceedings involving many claimants seeking compensation for similar harm. While both legal actions involve multiple plaintiffs with similar claims, there are significant distinctions between the two:
Class Action Lawsuit
- Definition: A class action lawsuit is a legal action initiated by one or more individuals (the class representatives) on behalf of a larger group of people who have suffered similar harm.
- Unity: Class actions bring together individuals who have suffered relatively small damages that would be impractical to pursue individually.
- Class certification: The court must certify the class as a cohesive group that meets specific criteria, such as common legal and factual issues, adequate representation, and a large class size that makes individual lawsuits impractical.
- Binding effect: The judgment or settlement reached in a class action lawsuit typically binds all class members, including those unaware of the lawsuit or not actively participating.
- Efficiency: Class actions promote efficiency by consolidating similar claims into a single proceeding, avoiding redundant litigation and inconsistent outcomes.
- Definition: A mass tort involves many individual lawsuits filed by multiple plaintiffs who have suffered injuries or harm caused by the same product, event, or defendant.
- Individual lawsuits: In a mass tort, each plaintiff files a separate lawsuit against the defendant or defendants responsible for their injuries or damages.
- Unique facts and circumstances: Mass torts typically arise from situations where the injuries or damages suffered by each plaintiff are unique, even though they share a common source or cause.
- Case management: Mass torts often involve centralized case management procedures to handle pretrial processes and coordinate discovery.
- Individual outcomes: Unlike class actions, mass torts typically result in individual outcomes for each plaintiff. Each case may be resolved separately through settlement or judgment, considering the circumstances of each plaintiff’s injuries and damages.
In a nutshell, the key distinction between a class action and a mass tort lies in the unity of the claims and the binding effect of the judgment.
While class actions bring together a large group of individuals with similar claims, mass torts involve individual lawsuits that arise from unique injuries caused by a common source. Consulting with an attorney experienced in class actions and mass torts can help you choose the most appropriate legal approach based on your situation.
The Significance of Bellwether Trials
Bellwether trials are crucial in the context of Zantac lawsuits, particularly in cases where many plaintiffs seek compensation for the harm the medication has caused.
Here’s an overview of what bellwether trials entail and their significance in Zantac litigation:
Bellwether trials are representative cases selected from a larger group of lawsuits to serve as indicators or test cases for how future similar lawsuits may unfold.
These trials help plaintiffs and defendants gauge their arguments’ strengths and weaknesses and assess the remaining cases’ potential outcomes.
In Zantac lawsuits, the court typically chooses bellwether cases in coordination with the parties involved.
The selection process aims to identify cases that closely resemble the common legal and factual issues shared by the larger group of plaintiffs.
Purpose and Significance
Bellwether trials serve as a means of facilitating the efficient resolution of a large number of lawsuits, as they provide insights into how future cases might be decided.
The outcomes of these trials can guide both parties in negotiating settlements and potentially lead to widespread resolution options.
Bellwether trials help assess the strength of the evidence, witness testimony, and legal arguments, offering valuable information for both plaintiffs and defendants to refine their strategies.
Impact on Subsequent Cases
The results of bellwether trials can have a significant impact on the resolution of the remaining cases. A favorable outcome for the plaintiffs in a bellwether trial may encourage the defendants to consider settlement offers to avoid potentially unfavorable trial outcomes.
Conversely, if the defendants prevail in a bellwether trial, it may influence the plaintiffs’ decisions to reevaluate their claims or negotiate settlements based on the perceived challenges of their cases.
It’s important to note that while bellwether trials provide valuable insights, they do not automatically establish legal precedents. Each case is fact-specific, and outcomes may vary based on the evidence and arguments presented.
Parties involved in Zantac lawsuits, including plaintiffs and defendants, closely monitor bellwether trials, as they can significantly impact the litigation’s overall direction and potential resolution. Consulting with an attorney experienced in mass tort litigation can help you understand the implications of bellwether trials and how they may influence your case.
Background Information on Zantac Lawsuits
Zantac was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 and, by 1988, had become a top-selling medicine. In fact, Zantac was one of the first medications to exceed $1 billion in sales annually.
In 2019, some pharmacies and manufacturers stopped selling the medication due to safety concerns regarding the drug’s active ingredient, ranitidine, which is thought to break down over time into a chemical known as N-nitroso dimethylamine (NDMA). Lawsuits were alleging that the product contained unsafe levels of the cancer-causing chemical NDMA which was present due to manufacturing processes.
NDMA is a known human carcinogen, although it is found in trace amounts in food and water. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that research showed that the amount of NDMA in the products increases the longer the drug is stored, so in 2020, they removed all remaining brand-name Zantac and generic versions from the market.
People who developed cancer after taking Zantac filed lawsuits almost immediately after the recalls were announced. Plaintiffs asserted that the defendant companies were aware of, or ought to have been aware of, the inherent instability of ranitidine and the resulting cancer risk. Despite this fact, they did not issue a warning to the general public.
FDA Warnings About NDMA Found in Ranitidine Drugs
The FDA has requested that pharmaceutical companies remove ranitidine, most commonly sold under the brand name Zantac, from the market. Since then, neither prescription nor over-the-counter ranitidine products can be purchased in the U.S., and Zantac now contains a different active ingredient.
This is because the FDA discovered that the NDMA levels in certain ranitidine products rise with time and temperature, posing a consumer risk.
Customers were advised to discontinue using any over-the-counter ranitidine in their possession immediately. Fortunately, several medications have been authorized for the same or comparable uses as ranitidine.
Consumers should properly dispose of any ranitidine products still in their possession.
Cancers Linked to Zantac
Consumers who purchased Zantac to treat heartburn and other minor conditions are alleging that it caused cancer and possibly other health issues.
Plaintiffs in the Zantac cancer lawsuits have several types of cancer, including:
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Nasal cancer
- Throat cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Intestinal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Uterine cancer
Some cancers are more closely associated with Zantac than others. However, the effects of the drug are not yet fully understood. If you or a loved one suffered from one of these cancers after consistent Zantac use, an attorney from our law firm can review your case and help you determine your next steps.
Understanding Your Legal Options
An attorney from our law firm can help you decide whether to file an individual lawsuit or if joining a Zantac class action lawsuit is the right option.
If you developed cancer after taking ranitidine, especially Zantac, you may be eligible to join one of the ongoing lawsuits.
Alternatively, you can file an independent personal injury lawsuit if a large class action does not meet your needs. This could allow you to recover compensation tailored to your personal expenses rather than receive part of a mass award designed to appease a large group of claimants.
If you took Zantac regularly and did not develop cancer, you may still be eligible for compensation due to the carcinogenic potential of Zantac. Different from the cancer lawsuits, some class action lawsuits will compensate those who have not received a cancer diagnosis for a percentage of the money they spent over time on Zantac.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation With a Zantac Cancer Lawyer
Let Zanes Law review your case if you are unsure whether you can join a Zantac class-action lawsuit. We can represent you if you qualify to file a civil suit against the drug company and pursue damages for your related expenses. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning that we do not get paid until the resolution of your case.
If we cannot recover compensation, you owe us nothing. Keep in mind that you may have a limited time to act. Please remember that your eligibility may be affected based on when you received your diagnosis, how much of the dangerous drug you ingested, and other factors.
Contact us to learn what these elements may mean for your case.