A fairly popular heartburn product, Zantac (Ranitidine), has recently been recalled. On April 1, 2020, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is requesting manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately.
What is Zantac or Ranitidine?
Zantac is an over-the-counter brand name for the drug ranitidine. Ranitidine belongs to a class of drugs known as H2-blockers, which are used to control stomach acid, prevent and relieve heartburn and in the treatment of more serious stomach and intestinal ulcers in its prescription forms. Zantac and other generic versions of ranitidine are used by millions of Americans every year.
What is the lawsuit against Zantac?
The popular prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine heartburn medications including Zantac commonly used to control stomach acid and treat gastric ulcers are faced with legal action after laboratory tests revealed these products contain unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known cancer-causing agent. The first class-action suit was filed on September 13, 2019 in California federal court, and hundreds of individual cases have been filed since on the grounds that Zantac and ranitidine drugs were defective by design and that product labels failed to warn users of potential risks.
These actions have prompted Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones to begin representing individuals who took Zantac and were thereafter diagnosed with cancer. With over 40 years of experience, Harrison Davis specializes in personal injury and complex product liability lawsuits and have obtained numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements in cases such as these. Our law firm plans to seek full compensation for patients and families who have been harmed by the drug.
Did they recall Zantac?
On September 13, 2019, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning after laboratory tests discovered levels of NDMA in ranitidine medications up to 3,000 times the amount allowed by FDA guidelines. This announcement prompted several manufacturers to voluntarily recall their products. However, further testing revealed the level of NDMA in some products actually increased over time in storage, increasing the risk of exposure to dangerous levels of the suspected carcinogenic substance. On April 1, 2020 the FDA announced an immediate market withdrawal of Zantac and all ranitidine products.
Can Zantac cause cancer?
In September 2019, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration learned that the heartburn medication Zantac and other ranitidine products contained an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA. NDMA is classified as “Probably Carcinogenic to Humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. Other national and international organizations also recognize the potential risks of NDMA exposure.
What kind of cancer could Zantac cause?
It is alleged that long term use of Zantac (ranitidine) heartburn medication may put patients at risk for the following kinds of cancer:
- Stomach cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with one of these cancers after taking Zantac or a generic ranitidine heartburn medication, you may entitled to receive compensation. Fill out the form below to see if you qualify and to schedule a free consultation. If we determine that you do in fact have a case, our experienced trial lawyers will represent you through the entire legal process at no cost or fee unless a recovery is made on your behalf.
Can I get my money back from Zantac?
Multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed accusing the manufacturers of Zantac and other ranitidine medications of making and selling a product containing a probable carcinogenic substance and failing to warn consumers of the potential risks. Plaintiffs in these cases who have not gotten sick are seeking remedies including refunding their purchases and possible expenses related to medical monitoring.
How much is the Zantac lawsuit worth?
A multitude of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have also been filed by individuals or family members who took Zantac and were subsequently diagnosed with cancer. These investigations are still in their early phases, and no verdicts or settlements have yet been reached. The Zantac litigation will likely result in a global settlement, with cases assigned to settlement tiers based on severity of injury and strength of claim. Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones will be fighting for victims to collect money damages to cover doctor’s bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering. We estimate those damages will likely range from $100,000 to $500,000.
The attorneys and legal professionals at Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones have collectively been involved in thousands of cases filed handled in an MDL setting. That doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten how daunting and unfamiliar the process can feel for most people. So, we’ve assembled the following “road map” of a typical MDL proceeding so our potential and current clients can be armed with as much information as possible as they enter an MDL.
What is an MDL?
When a large number of product liability cases (ex. A pharmaceutical drug or medical device that harms people) are filed in courts all over the country, all of which involve the failure of this one product, and which has caused similar injury to many individuals, a single court may be chosen to combine the cases into one MDL. From this one court the designated federal judge will manage the discovery, hear motions, resolve pre-trial issues, possibly preside over bellwether trials (the first trials), and even monitor settlement of all the cases. Typically, what begins the process is the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) mandates a drug or medical device company to recall the product due to so many claims of harm and danger to people. Many times, however, Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones and other similar firms across the country have already seen these harmful effects and have begun further investigation before the FDA acts.
Step 1: Initial Investigation
Our attorneys are driven by a strong innate desire to help people who have been wronged. But before we can proceed with any legal action, we must first perform an initial investigation to gather facts and make sure there exists a solid basis before continuing. This process involves collecting information from you and any pertinent witness, studying the relevant laws pertaining to the case and examining dates and other details to be confident in our ability to file a valid lawsuit on your behalf. In an MDL setting, it also involves gathering information of what these large companies knew and when they knew it before they began selling its product to the public.
Step 2: Filing & Initial Pleadings
A lawsuit officially begins when one party (a.k.a. the Plaintiff or multiple Plaintiffs) files a “Petition or Complaint” against another (a.k.a. the Defendant or multiple Defendants). The Petition serves as notice to the defendant that they are being sued and details the allegations and claims of the lawsuit. Once the defendant receives (a.k.a. is served) these documents, it is typically granted about one month to respond (file an Answer). The defendant’s answer will set forth the defenses asserted to the Plaintiffs’ claims and any defenses allegations.
Step 3: MDL Creation
At this stage, if enough cases are filed around the country and the claims are similar and the harms are similar, a panel of federal judges meet to decide if an MDL should be created and which court and judge has both the capacity and the experience to handle such a large amount of claims. There are hearings with this panel and any interested attorney from around the country are able to give their opinions. After hearing all opinions, the panel will decide on what court and judge should handle the matter.
Step 4: Case Consolidation and Selection of Leadership
At this stage, the process of having all the cases in the country moved to this newly created MDL begins. It can be lengthy and time consuming as new cases continue to be filed. At the same time, the attorneys and the judge determine which lawyers and law firms for both the plaintiff and defense should be in various leadership roles to aid the court and ensure the litigation to runs smoothly and proceeds to trial in as orderly a fashion as possible.
Step 5: Bellwether Selection and Discovery
Because it would be logistically impossible to learn all the details of thousands of cases, the court and the attorneys for both sides evaluate the cases on file and debate which are the most representative of the litigation. Ultimately, the judge decides and may pick only one Plaintiff or a group of multiple Plaintiffs to be developed with more in-depth discovery. These are the known as the Bellwether Cases. Even if your case is not chosen as a bellwether case, there will still be discovery including such as Plaintiff Fact Sheets and Plaintiff Profile Forms, but it will be significantly less time-consuming than if you are chosen as a Bellwether Plaintiff. During the discovery phase of litigation the opposing parties will request the other side provide evidence and information deemed pertinent to the case. These typically happen via written questions (a.k.a. Interrogatories) or in-person interviews (a.k.a. Depositions) where the person answering or testifying must do so under oath. Each side may also submit Requests for Production of Documents believed relevant to the case. Testimony and written reports from expert witnesses with specialized knowledge of subject matters at hand (e.g. doctors, engineers, forensic specialists, etc.) may also be gathered at this time. During discovery both sides will learn much about the case and be better able to judge the merits, strengths and weaknesses of the case.
Step 6: Trial Preparation
Once Discovery is completed, both parties will take their evidence and assemble what they believe will result in the most compelling, efficient and effective trial. During this time the parties may also participate in one or more forms of mediations or settlement conferences as well as numerous hearings before the court.
Step 7: Trial
An actual trial is something most people will find at least somewhat familiar as it is often like what is seen on television, minus some of the drama. While many trials will take place before of a jury with a judge presiding over the proceedings, an initial MDL trial will take place before the judge presiding over the MDL. In some instances the MDL judge may decide to remand the cases back to their original location. In any event, each side will be allowed to select the best jury for their case, give opening statements, examine witnesses, introduce evidence and present closing arguments. Depending on the complexity of a case, a trial may take anywhere from a day to several months. Once completed, the jury or judge will rule on behalf of one party or the other and determine if and what amount of monetary or other damages to award to the winning side.
Step 8: Post Judgement
Once the trial is over, the losing party has the right to appeal the ruling or verdict. This process can last from six months to two years. If there is no appeal, or once the appeal is over, the winning party will pursue recovery of any monetary award granted by the judge or jury.
As you can imagine, MDL lawsuits are complex, stressful and can take a long time to complete. Therefore, if you find yourself in a real fight with real consequences on the line, you need attorneys who will help you understand and prepare for every step of what lies ahead. If you have questions about an MDL, the trial process or any other potential legal matters, contact a member of the Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones team today.
Contact a Zantac Litigation Attorney
If you took Zantac or generic ranitidine and were diagnosed with cancer, the experienced trial lawyers of Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones are ready to fight for you. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 800-460-2756 or by filling out the qualification form below.