Plaintiffs in Zantac cancer litigation recently experienced a setback. A federal judge threw out a number of claims filed under states' laws. According to the court, the plaintiffs' claims were barred by federal law. The plaintiffs are free to file different, narrower claims in the future.
The Zantac Case So Far
- All forms of Zantac were recalled in April 2020.
- Scientific reports claim the heartburn drug contains a carcinogen.
- Some reports show the carcinogen levels increasing with time.
- 500+ consumers have filed lawsuits claiming Zantac caused their cancers. These cases are currently making their way through the courts.
If you or a loved one developed cancer after taking Zantac, you may have legal options. You should request a free, no-obligation Zantac lawsuit consultation here.
Zantac Claims Filed Under State Law Invalid Under Federal Law
Zantac cancer lawsuits were consolidated via multidistrict litigation (MDL) in February 2020. They now form MDL 2924, which currently has more than 500 cases. These lawsuits center around the issue of Zantac containing an undeclared carcinogen.
Plaintiffs have made a number of allegations against drug manufacturers, including:
- Personal injury
- Violation of consumer protection laws
- Design defects
The court's recent ruling dealt with claims filed under state laws. Plaintiffs argued manufacturers of ranitidine (generic Zantac):
- designed a defective product
- failed to warn consumers about it
However, the court ruled these claims invalid. Manufacturers were effectively barred by federal law from addressing the defective design or warning consumers.
Plaintiffs' attorneys disagreed. They said manufacturers could have changed the expiration date on the drug without violating the law. If the drug had expired sooner, it would have posed less of a threat. This is due to evidence showing carcinogen levels in the drug increase over time.
Plaintiffs Attempted to Make Contradictory Zantac Claims
Apart from finding the claims invalid, the court also accused plaintiffs of making contradictory Zantac claims. Under court precedent, plaintiffs cannot make contradictory claims within the same case.
The court noted plaintiffs claimed the drug was defective at the time of manufacture. This claim stands in opposition to the plaintiffs claim about expiration dates. If the drug was dangerous at the date of manufacture, shortening the time before expiration would not render it safe.
Therefore, these state law-related claims were dismissed.
Plaintiffs Have 30 Days to Re-Plead
At this time, it is unclear how attorneys for the plaintiffs will proceed. The court gave a 30-day deadline to file narrower claims. Some reports have suggested plaintiffs will target labeling changes manufacturers could have made legally.
There are still a number of pending claims related to federal law. These federal claims were not addressed in the ruling discussed above. We will continue covering breaking news related to Zantac litigation here in the news section.