The Zantac lawsuits continue but what and who are some of the major zantac law firms?
The Zantac lawsuits are some of the largest to come before the US courts and have wiped billions of dollars off the value of big pharma companies as plaintiffs lodge their claims for alleged cancers caused by the popular drug used to treat treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease.
There are more than 2100 Zantac lawsuits in federal court as at June 2022 but there are possible around 30,000 cancer claims where lawsuits have not been filed at this point but where a mechanism is used to permit patients to \’file suit\’ without officially filing a lawsuit against Zantac (see below).
Zantac lawsuit law firms are plentiful, but which law firm should you approach for a Zantac claim? The answer to that depends on a number of things such as their experience, your own geographic location, the experience you have had with Zantac and more.
But let\’s consider the context of the Zantac litigation.
The Zantac Issue
Zantac was deemed to be a \’probable human carcinogen\’ by the World Health Organization and the Food & Drug Administration, which in April 2020 announced that all ranitidine products (Zantac) be removed from the market.* This included all prescription and over-the-counter drugs for the Zantac brand heartburn drugs..
The reason for the ban was because of potential NDMA contamination, a chemical linked to cancer.
Researchers observed that as stock of Ranitidine (Zantac) sat in storage, the NDMA contamination increased and the longer it sat and the warmer the temperature that it was stored in the greater the contamination risk from the high levels of NDMA.
The brand name Zantac is ranitidine which has been classified as a H2 or histamine-2 blocker which is available over the counter and through prescription. Commonly used to reduced acid reflux or generally acid in the stomach it has been used to decrease heartburn and there is also a prescription-only version approved to treat and prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Short-term exposure to NDMA can cause liver damage (such as liver fibrosis and scarring), while long-term exposure can increase the risk of liver, kidney cancer and lung cancer.
The stomach cancer risk and associated cancer risks to the human body have been such as to create the widespread class-action lawsuit wave that claims multiple wrongful death and related Zantac cancer claims.
The Zantac Lawsuits
The result of the actions by WHO and the FDA was a wave of lawsuits from Zantac users. More than 2000 personal injury lawsuits have been filed and there are thought to be more than 70,000 registered claims, which may wind up costing the pharmaceutical companies tens of billions of dollars in damages.
Among the companies that sold branded versions of Zantac, which has been sold over 35 years, are GSK, Sanofi, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.
Much of the defense of these claims for what has been deemed ranitidine a defective drug and a known carcinogen has been to attack the US lab that issues the warnings about Zantac, a Connecticut lab called Valisure.
The lawsuits are now coming closer to trial the defendant companies argue that the testing methodology was flawed and biased, taken in co-ordination with plaintiff lawyers.
The early hearing is before US District Court Judge Robin Rosenberg who will determine what scientific and other evidence is admissable in the case, in particular looking at the levels of NDMA that pose a cancer risk. NDMA is in fact present in most food and water and the issue is the level that is cancer-causing or the exposure to higher levels of NDMA.
The US Food and Drug Administration has at one point indicated that testing methods used by Valisure were inappropriate and could have created higher NDMA levels. Documents that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and reported by Consumer Reports, also showed that the agency is investigating the lab to ensure its work for companies that seek FDA approval for products complies with the law.
In mid-2022 three generic makers of Zantac paid paid $500,000 to settle a generic Zantac case a week before it was set to go to trial in Illinois state court. The case involved a plaintiff who claimed that ranitidine use caused his esophageal cancer.
There are also a significant number of Zantac lawsuits to be heart in California state court, which are to be held in Alameda County (Oakland) in 2023.
With upcoming trial dates the pressure towards achieving a settlement on Zantac lawsuits increases with a major verdict that would lift the settlement amounts\’ financial compensation higher.
The Zantac Defendants
The FDA recall and Apotex. But between that recall in September 2019 and April 2020 there were at least 16 brands that volunarily removed the brands from their stores, including the following –
Sandoz Inc – Ranitidine Hydrochloride Capsules
Apotex Corporation – Ranitidine Tablets
American Health Packaging – Ranitidine Tablets
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Nizatidine Capsules
Northwind – Ranitidine Tablets 150mg and 300mg
ani – Ranitidine Tablets 150mg and 300mg
Glenmark – Ranitidine Tablets 150mg and 300mg
Amneal – Ranitidine Tablets and Ranitidine Syrup
PrecisionDose – Ranitidine Oral Solution
GSMS Incorporated – Ranitidine HCl 150mg and 300mg Capsules
AHP – Ranitidine Liquid Unit Dose Cups
Aurobindo & DG Health – Ranitidine Tablets
Novitium Pharma – Ranitidine Hydrochloride Capsules
Lannett Company, Inc. – Ranitidine Syrup
Dr. Reddy\’s – Ranitidine Tablets & Capsules
Sanofi – Zantac 150, Zantac 150 Cool Mint, Zantac 75
Perrigo Company plc – Ranitidine tablets
The Zantac Law Firms
Clearly there are many firms representing a growing number of plaintiffs taking claims in respect of Zantac. The first such case was filed in California against drug company Sanofi and Boerhringer Ingelheim.
Among the leading firms and personal injury lawyers (who comprise almost all the firms) are the following, although none should be taken as having been specifically recommended by us but rather should be verified and checked by any prospective plaintiff in a Zantac lawsuit. There are websites like LegalFinders who can provide information about vetted law firms in your area that can assist with locating personal injury attorneys who can handle your case.
The law firms include –
Baum Hedlund – A leading personal injury law firm that has recovered over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements, the LA-based firm has handled major claims for medical device and pharmaceutical claims, among many others. With claims that are frequently complex and sometimes international in scope, Baum Hedlund have received notable mentions in the media and various best lawyers mentions for verdicts achieved, including achieving jury verdicts of $2.3 billion as the first and third Roundup cases against agrochemical company Monsanto.
Charles Argento – Houston based Charles J Argento attorneys are representing Texas-based Zantac patients who also rely upon Texas product liability laws. Charles Argento, the firm principal, is well experienced with numerous highly credentialled citations and recommendations for his litigation skills.
Levin Law – One of the first law firms that outlined the link between Zantac and NDMA and including lawyer Yitzhak Levin, a brother-in-law to Valisure co-founder and chief executive, David Light.
Light said to the Financial Times a relative of his brother-in-law was prescribed ranitidine, and said he had evidence that it was a problematic drug. “I think it appropriate that I told him don’t do that [continue to allow his relative to take ranitidine] . . . He’s a litigation lawyer and he filed some of these lawsuits and, you know, that’s his business,” said Light. Big Pharma’s criticism of the New Haven lab stands in stark contrast to the praise the lab has received from consumer advocates and members of congress for its efforts in highlighting safety concerns about Zantac and other drugs and consumer products.
The firm\’s website says it has been handling lawsuits against drug companies since 1955, winning verdicts of over $30 billion.
Miller & Zois – The attorneys\’s website claim to be investigating Zantac lawsuits and legal action in 50 state jurisdictions focused on five cancer types.
Morgan & Morgan – The personal injury leaders bill themselves as the biggest personal injury law firm in the US with 800 attorneys and with a very significant network of offices and around 3000 employees working on their cases, the firm actually remains a \”Morgan family\” law firm. They have significant experience across multiple areas of personal injury work, but certainly also involving Zantac legal cases.
Maher Law – The Florida-based law firm are Zantac lawyers who have a reputation for taking on Big Pharma claims, but have been operating for over 40 years, achieving billions of dollars in claims across multiple areas of settlements including not just drug claims, but also tobacco lawsuits, nursing home actions and similar.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers – The Chicago-based firm has extensive experience across a wide range of personal injury claims and has a high track record of success and is a multiple award-winning firm, recognized within the legal profession as top trial lawyers.
There are clearly many other firms that will take cases of this kind and, once again, you should check with the firms, with enquiries and through the local Bar Association or Law Society as to the reputation of any firm selected for these, or any other, personal injury or class action claims.
Status of Zantac Lawsuits
The Zantac lawsuits can be handled by one federal court under the multi-district litigation (MDL) device, which is something often used in cases involving dangerous drugs where there are a large number of plaintiffs with similar complaints to be heard.
MDL lets the cases to be consolidated on a temporary basis during the pretrial stages of the case and a selected number – perhaps half a dozen – will go to trial in what are called bellwether trials.
It is the bellwether trials that then set the stage for any future negotiations with attorneys for the plaintiffs depending upon the size of the bellwether verdicts.
The process will take some years from beginning to end and are expected to begin in 2023.
Unlike class action lawsuits a MDL lawsuit permits multiple law firms to represent the plaintiffs, rather than (usually) just one law firm.
The cases will be heard by multiple law firms. Another key difference form the typical class action lawsuit is that the injuries being complained of can be quite different for different plaintiffs, who will typically have different kinds of cancer or complaints.
There is presently one Zantac MDL which is in Southern Florida (West Palm Beach) and is brought against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; GlaxoSmithKline LLC; Pfizer Inc.; Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC; Sanofi US Services Inc.; and Chattem, Inc.
Which Cancers Are Named in the Zantac Lawsuit?
The lawsuit specifically names stomach, esophageal, bladder cancer, liver and pancreatic cancers as potentially having been caused by Zantac.
However other cancers could also be included in lawsuits.
The Zantac MDL steering committee indicated that it intends to pursue five types of cancer in MDL-2924, (even though there are issues relating to other cancers like prostate cancer), which are:
How Can Someone Qualify For A Zantac Lawsuit?
In order to seek damages from Zantac, you will need to demonstrate the following:
- You took Zantac.
- You have a cancer diagnosis.
- There is a link between your cancer diagnosis and your Zantac use.
Generic Zantac Lawsuits
DrugWatch has indicated that those who take some generic form of Zantac will not be represented. It is necessary to have taken Zantac for at least once a week and for at least a year and that it was taken within 20 years of the cancer diagnosis.
However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans, they said. Nevertheless, seven months after Valisure published its own research on Zantac’s NDMA risk, the FDA requested manufacturers to withdraw all their ranitidine drugs from the market, concluding that NDMA levels increase over time even under normal storage conditions. “This shows the critical importance and impact of independent testing being part of the supply chain.”
David Light, (left) co-founder and chief executive of Valisure, told the Financial Times. The pharma groups have alleged the lab used a testing method that was never validated to test for NDMA in ranitidine, which they said involved “superheating” samples of the drug to produce “artificially high” levels of NDMA. The companies have also argued that Valisure worked with the plaintiff’s bar to pave the way for the litigation.
One of the first lawsuits detailing Zantac’s alleged link with NDMA and cancer was filed by Yitzhak Levin, a lawyer who is a brother-in-law of Light, according to the pharma groups.
Another plaintiff’s lawyer in the Zantac litigation, Gregory Frank, was a “key player in co-ordinating Valisure’s ranitidine testing and citizen petition”, claimed the companies in the court documents. Neither lawyer responded to a request for comment. Light said the lab stood by its research methodology and accused pharma groups of attempting to paint Valisure as being behind a “conspiracy”.
“That is absolutely not true at all . . . We are about the science which has been proven right many times and this [screening] is impactful and needs to be better utilised within the industry,” said Light. He said Valisure was sometimes contracted for consultancy work on behalf of plaintiffs’ lawyers and other groups in relation to its research, but the laboratory was not hired as experts in the Zantac case.
The FDA announcement said:
NDMA is a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer). In the summer of 2019, the FDA became aware of independent laboratory testing that found NDMA in ranitidine. Low levels of NDMA are commonly ingested in the diet, for example NDMA is present in foods and in water. These low levels would not be expected to lead to an increase in the risk of cancer. However, sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans. The FDA conducted thorough laboratory tests and found NDMA in ranitidine at low levels. At the time, the agency did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend whether individuals should continue or stop taking ranitidine medicines, and continued its investigation and warned the public in September 2019 of the potential risks and to consider alternative OTC and prescription treatments.