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Zantac has become one of the largest product recalls of all time. Once one of the nation’s highest-grossing drugs, the popular heartburn drug is now completely off store shelves, never to return. The problem with Zantac and all of its generic versions is that the active ingredient can become a carcinogen over time. Thousands of people may have developed cancer after taking Zantac for an extended time. If you have been a regular user of this drug and have been diagnosed with cancer, you may have the right to financial compensation. First, you need to contact an attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit.
The active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine. This ingredient is supposed to reduce the amount of acid that your stomach produces. Stomach acid is what causes heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. For decades, ranitidine was an effective and easy way to treat heartburn, or so people thought. Now, it is a common understanding that this can cause cancer.
The problem is that ranitidine is a highly unstable compound. For decades, there have been rumblings that ranitidine may potentially be dangerous, although they largely flew under the radar. The specific issue is that ranitidine is tainted with a substance called NDMA. When consumed in large enough quantities, this can cause cancer. It is commonly known to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
People who have taken Zantac could develop cancer of the:
Researchers have honed in on the reason why Zantac contains NDMA. It does not happen this way when it leaves the factory. Over time, when people store ranitidine at room temperature or higher, it could produce NDMA. Independent testing conducted by an online pharmacy has shown that the levels of NDMA are far higher than the recommended limits for daily intake.
Now, the only place that Zantac will still exist is in lawsuits. Right after news broke of NDMA contamination, the country’s leading drugstores immediately pulled the drug from the shelves. It took several months for the FDA to stop dragging its own feet as independent research showed the true scope of the problem. Eventually, the FDA ordered a nationwide recall of Zantac. By that time, it was largely gone from store shelves.
People have filed Zantac lawsuits by the hundreds so far, and we expect the number to reach well into the thousands by the time this mass tort litigation finishes. Product liability law allows you to recover when the product you bought was defective and you suffered injuries. You could also recover when the product had a negligent design or improper manufacture. Injured consumers and their families could sue either the maker of the drug or the store that sold it to you.
Here are some of the companies that have been sued in Zantac lawsuits so far:
Right now, people have filed roughly 600 lawsuits. Even though experts think that Zantac would cause a handful of additional cases of cancer, the staggering number of patients who took this drug going back to its introduction in 1983 means that thousands of people have been affected.
These cases have already been consolidated into multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Florida in front of Judge Robin Rosenberg. To be clear, Zantac injury cases are not class-action lawsuits. Instead, for reasons of efficiency, these cases proceed separately until trial, when they go in front of separate courts. First, the jury will hear a handful of bellwether cases, so the parties can know how the case would fare. If the defendants lose and realize that they have significant legal risk, they may try to settle the cases.
There were research studies as far back as 1989 that showed the possibility that ranitidine was unstable and could become contaminated. This grew into a drumbeat starting in 2011 with at least three studies that showed the same possibility. However, the drug companies continued to sell the product when they likely knew full well of the dangers. In addition, the plaintiffs could also argue that the manufacturers were negligent in designing a product where the active ingredient could easily become a carcinogen.
Since the news about Zantac broke in late 2019, these lawsuits are still early, but it does not mean that you have an unlimited amount of time to file your case. While these cases may take years to resolve, the time to file your lawsuit is now. An attorney could review your case and explain your legal rights. You may receive substantial compensation if the jury rules in your favor or if the defendants settle the lawsuits.
If you suffered injuries, contact a lawyer immediately. Each state has different statutes of limitations, which are the deadlines for filing lawsuits. If you already received a cancer diagnosis and you were a regular Zantac user, chances are that the clock has already started to tick.
Your lawyer can:
While the judge in the case has ruled that plaintiffs cannot advance design defect claims, there are still plenty of ways that injured consumers can recover financially. The main ground of complaint was that companies that made ranitidine products knew of the risk and failed to warn consumers.