After Federal Lawsuit Dropped, Zantac Plaintiffs Try Their Luck In Delaware

Legal News

Following a December 2022 ruling by the judge overseeing the Zantac multidistrict litigation (MDL) that effectively eliminated all Zantac claims at the federal level, plaintiffs that allege the heartburn drug caused them to develop cancer have filed their claim in Delaware state court, where their claims remain valid. 

30 Zantac plaintiffs filed a complaint in late December after the MDL was tossed in Superior Court of the State of Delaware. The defendants named include GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi-Aventis, Patheon Manufacturing Services and DSM Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Plaintiffs allege that Zantac, which has been used by millions of people for heartburn and acid reflux, contained an active ingredient, ranitidine, that is chemically unstable, transforming into a byproduct that may be carcinogenic at high levels. 

The byproduct in question, N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, can be carcinogenic if it exceeds the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) 65 nanograms per day limit. 

Independent testing revealed that Zantac could contain levels of NDMA as high as 3 million nanograms. 

In April 2020, the FDA recalled all ranitidine-containing products from the market. 

To date, over 100,000 Zantac lawsuits have been filed. Zantac claims include several different types of cancer. In the federal Zantac MDL, the cancers were limited to bladder; liver; pancreatic; stomach; and esophageal varieties. Plaintiffs with other types of cancers that have developed allegedly because of prolonged Zantac use were limited to filing their claims at the state level. 

Now that the federal MDL has been dismissed due to insufficient evidence, federal claimants are appealing Judge Robin L. Rosenberg’s decision. 

Zantac state lawsuits are also being filed in California and other states. An estimated 50,000 Zantac lawsuits are pending at the state level. Trial dates are pending throughout the year. The appeal of Judge Rosenberg’s decision to toss federal Zantac cases will likely be a lengthy process. This is a developing story…

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