There is a new development in the legal battle over health problems allegedly caused by popular heartburn medication Zantac. Last week, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred all Zantac claims to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. This transfer will coordinate and consolidate pretrial proceedings for these cases.
In a petition filed on November 4th, 2019, the plaintiffs argued that the litigation should be consolidated “because the NDMA in Zantac is not an impurity that only recently made its way into the drug through shoddy manufacturing but is instead inherent to the drug’s molecular structure.”
Judge Gobin L. Rosenberg to Preside Over Zantac Cases
Over 140 lawsuits were sent to the Southern District of Florida and will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg. Both individual personal injury lawsuits and class actions have been filed against the makers of Zantac, alleging that these pharmaceutical companies were aware that the drug was potentially carcinogenic.
According to the transfer order:
“The district is a relatively convenient and accessible forum, with the resources and the capacity to efficiently handle what could be a large litigation. Additionally, centralization before the Honorable Robin L. Rosenberg allows us to assign this litigation to an able jurist who has not yet had the opportunity to preside over an MDL. We are confident that Judge Rosenberg will steer this litigation on an efficient and prudent course.”
All of these cases share several common questions of fact and the creation of a multidistrict litigation docket is necessary in order to establish consistent pretrial and motion practice standards, according to the plaintiffs.
Several Pharmaceutical Companies Named in Zantac Claims
Several of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have been named in lawsuits for cancers that plaintiffs say were caused by Zantac. These companies include Sanofi-Aventis U.S., GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Pfizer Inc.
Sanofi-Aventis U.S. recalled over-the-counter Zantac in October of 2019 after the FDA announced that they had discovered unacceptably high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Scientists have discovered that Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, metabolizes in the body and forms NDMA, which is a carcinogen.
GlaxoSmithKline was the first company to receive FDA approval for selling Zantac and recalled prescriptions in October of 2019 as well.
Legal Rights of Families Affected by Zantac-Related Cancers
Due to the widespread popularity of Zantac and the fact that it has been on the market since 1983, the plaintiffs and their attorneys expect more lawsuits to be filed in federal courts throughout the United States. There are at least ten other cases that have been filed.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac and believe your diagnosis is related to the drug, you may also have grounds for a lawsuit against the makers of Zantac.
You can learn more about your legal rights by discussing your case with one of our experienced defective drug lawyers. We are offering free consultations to those who have been diagnosed with Zantac-related cancers.