Makers of Popular Heartburn Remedy, Zantac, Seek Dismissal of Class Action Lawsuits

Legal News

At least 500 individual lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of Zantac, and drug stores that sell it, such as CVS and Walgreens. The lawsuits stem from the FDA recall in April of this year of all products containing ranitidine, which is a type of stomach-acid-blocking drug, the most popular of which is the brand name Zantac. 

The reason for the recall is that ranitidine has been found to contain the cancer-causing contaminant, NDMA. Thus far, individuals who have filed claims allege that they developed cancer because of contaminated ranitidine. Although the number of plaintiffs that have filed claims against ranitidine manufacturers and sellers pales in comparison to Roundup Weed Killer lawsuits and Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuits, the number of plaintiffs is expected to rise sharply. 

Are Thousands of Zantac Users At Risk Of Developing Cancer?

Some plaintiffs have joined in a class action lawsuit, alleging that they will have to seek additional and potentially costly medical screenings because of the possibility they will develop cancer in the future. 

Because the plaintiffs have not yet developed cancer, manufacturers of heartburn drugs that contain ranitidine want the class action lawsuit dismissed. 

Defendants Scoff At Claims

New York Injury Law News references the defendants’ motion to dismiss, asserting that the class action “fails to allege a true injury-in-fact.” Moreover, the defendants motion says that plaintiffs do not have a viable claim because injuries that are “distinct and palpable” are lacking; the class action is based merely on conjecture, and in the abstract. New york Injury Law News also reports that the plaintiffs have requested a trust fund to pay for the medical monitoring they will need to undergo to screen for cancer.  

However, the defendants’ motion to dismiss characterizes this request as “lack[ing] any principles of equity that a judicial injunction would rest upon.”

Plaintiffs Respond To Dismissal Request

In an opposition response letter from earlier this month, plaintiffs assert that the law holds that any products “that are so unsafe that they are illegal to buy or sell are also economically worthless and give rise to constitutional injury in fact when plaintiffs purchase them.”

Had manufacturers and distributors of ranitidine drugs disclosed the fact that their product contained a carcinogenic substance, the plaintiffs say they never would have purchased the product. But in doing so, the plaintiffs now require “periodic costly medical surveillance.” 

The fact that the defendants are pursuing the legal means to deny consumers the right to pursue compensation is unfathomable, the plaintiffs suggest.

All federally-filed Zantac lawsuits are pending in one multi-district litigation in the Southern District of Florida.

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