Dozens of patients who developed cancer after using the heartburn drugs Zantac or ranitidine will have their cases heard in California state court, a Florida federal judge has ruled. The lawsuits were filed by 41 Zantac or ranitidine users against pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the heartburn drugs or pharmacy chains where the drugs were sold.
According to the lawsuits, patients face an increased risk of developing cancer because products containing Zantac and ranitidine were contaminated with a chemical known as NDMA. Exposure to NDMA has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancers, including breast cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, or other forms of the disease.
Motion to Return Zantac Lawsuits to California State Court
The 41 plaintiffs originally filed lawsuits against Zantac and ranitidine manufacturers or pharmacies where the medications were sold in the state of California. When hundreds of Zantac and ranitidine lawsuits were transferred to a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), the cases were moved to a Florida federal court.
In a motion filed in January, lawyers for the 41 California plaintiffs asked the judge overseeing the Zantac MDL to move these cases back to California state court. The motion stated that the lawsuits had been improperly moved to Florida federal court by the defendant drugmakers and pharmacies, when then should have remained in California.
In a February 2021 ruling, Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida agreed with the motion filed by lawyers for the California Zantac plaintiffs. The judge ruled that because the 41 California cases all involved at least one drugmaker or retailer in the state, they should not have been moved to the Florida MDL with the other national Zantac and ranitidine cases, and ordered the cases to be moved back to California state court.
Hundreds of Lawsuits Filed by Zantac & Ranitidine Cancer Victims
Despite Judge Rosenberg’s decision to return the dozens of California Zantac lawsuits to state court, manufacturers and pharmacies involved in the sale of Zantac or ranitidine are still facing hundreds of lawsuits in the Florida MDL.
Currently, there are more than 500 cases that have been consolidated in Judge Rosenberg’s court. However, attorneys involved in the litigation say that they have registered tens of thousands of potential claims from patients who used Zantac or ranitidine, meaning that thousands of additional lawsuits could eventually be added to the litigation.
Lawsuits that have been filed against the manufacturers of Zantac or ranitidine products allege that pharmaceutical companies have known for decades that patients could face an increased risk of developing cancer from using these medications. It was only after the FDA learned about the widespread contamination of Zantac and ranitidine products with NDMA that the drugs were finally recalled from sale in the U.S.
Judge Rosenberg is currently working with lawyers for Zantac and ranitidine users, drugmakers that manufactured these medications, and pharmacies where they were sold to create a schedule for the gathering of evidence and challenges to expert witness testimony as part of the Florida MDL. After these matters are sorted out, a small number of “bellwether” cases will go to trial as part of the MDL in order to lay the groundwork for settlement negotiations between the attorneys who are handling the case.
Free Consultation for Zantac & Ranitidine Users With Cancer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer after using Zantac or ranitidine, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your illness and medical expenses.
For a free legal consultation to find out if you qualify, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117. You can also reach us by filling out the free consultation form located on the right side of this page for desktop users, and at the bottom of the page for mobile users.
After we receive your consultation request, one of our staff members will contact you to ask you some additional questions and to help you schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.