Zantac Lawsuit Update – October 2021
It’s been two years since Valisure, LLC, an independent pharmacy, filed a Citizen Petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after their lab detected extremely high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (‘NDMA’), a probable human carcinogen, in every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms of the drug ranitidine, commonly sold under the brand Zantac. The FDA determined people should consume no more than 96 nanograms of NDMA per day. Valisure detected clearly unacceptable, high levels of NDMA in excess of 3,000,000 nanograms per tablet when analyzing ranitidine products. (Source: Valisure)
In February 2020, lawsuits filed against manufacturers of Zantac, a commonly used heartburn medication, and generic ranitidine from all over the United States were combinedin federal multi-district litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (MDL 2924). MDL’s are created to streamline the process and share resources when there are a large number of similar lawsuits filed in different jurisdictions.
In April 2020, the FDA issued a market-level recall of the medication in the United States. Since the Zantac recall was announced, thousands of cases were put into a census registry after Judge Rosenberg issued an order to do so in April 2020. This census also allowed the claimants’ statutes of limitation to be protected without the need to file their case with the court. It is used by the court to help create a broad picture of the alleged usage and corresponding injuries among the potential claimant pool of unfiled cases. The census registry will eventually form the basis by which individual cases are grouped for purposes of settlement.
Where are we now?
Judge Rosenberg, the MDL judge, dismissed all of the Zantac lawsuits involving generic or store-brand versions of Zantac in August 2021. She believes they are preempted by federal law. This is a brutal blow for users of generic ranitidine who are now being told that even if the drug caused their cancer, they may not have a claim. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed appeals on the ruling but the general feeling is the ruling will hold up on appeal.
While the cases involving generic or store brand use that were filed into the Zantac MDL may have been dismissed at this time, those in the claimant registry are still protected by the tolling agreement, and, for now, remain protected until we see how everything plays out with the appeals. There may also be other venues to pursue litigation for generic only claimants to seek justice and recover damages and compensation for their injuries.
For those who used brand name Zantac, the ruling will likely streamline the Zantac litigation considerably since it minimized the caseload considerably for the court and allows the Plaintiffs’ Leadership counsel more time to drill down on the remaining defendants and better prepare the scientific data to get these cases to a jury.
Pre-trial discovery is ongoing. Unfortunately, we cannot predict potential per person payouts as it is too early in the process. Between COVID delays (both those in the past, and what could still be to come), a convoluted defendant pool rife with multiple distributors, brand & generic manufacturers – made more difficult with discovery disputes – it is unlikely the MDL bellwether trials would begin by this time next year.
Regarding discovery disputes, one of the biggest disputes between plaintiffs and defense counsel is whether NDMA was a significant cause of the victim’s cancer. The science is already there to support the fact that NDMA is more likely to cause some cancers than others. The question 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. One of the most important things to pay attention to will be the Daubert hearing, which should take place mid to late summer 2022. The Daubert motion on general causation will be the key in determining the settlement amounts for this MDL.
Do You Qualify For A Zantac Lawsuit?
Currently, VanDerGinst Law is only accepting new clients for this litigation who took brand name Zantac on a daily or regular basis for at least 6 months and were diagnosed with one of the following cancers. For our existing clients who took generic or store brand and/or who were diagnosed with cancer but it is not listed below, we have protected the SOL via the census and we are not giving up hope.
There are also some qualifying injuries related to Zantac use while pregnant. If you took brand name Zantac during your FIRST TRIMESTER of Pregnancy and experienced a stillbirth, or had a child born with mid-line birth defects, you may also be eligible.
You may be entitled to recover damages if you meet the above requirements, and we recommend working with a Zantac lawsuit attorney that has navigated the complex legal process of mass torts. The experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at VanDerGinst Law can help you make sense of your case and we work tirelessly to hold big pharma accountable.
If you feel you’ve been injured due to Zantac use:
Contact us at 800-960-8529 or fill out the contact form below.