Austin Zantac Injury LawyersLast updated on: July 1, 2022
Call our Austin Zantac injury lawyers today at (800) 863-5312
Zantac has been sold over the counter to treat heartburn since 1983, but consumers of the antacid may have gotten more than they anticipated. In 2018, American regulators of the drug recalled it, noting cancer-causing impurities. Today, Austin Zantac injury lawyers work with those who have taken Zantac and been diagnosed with cancer.
If you or a loved one took Zantac, talk with an Austin personal injury attorney. A Zinda Law Group lawyer can provide you a free consultation to help you determine whether you can pursue compensation for your cancer treatment. Call (800) 863-5312 today to speak with our experienced lawyers.
What is zantac?
Zantac is the brand name of the drug ranitidine. Ranitidine decreases the amount of acid in the stomach, and people use it to treat ulcers; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition which causes heartburn and injury to the esophagus; and other conditions where the stomach produces excess acid. It does this by blocking H2 receptors, stopping cells from producing excessive stomach acid and allowing stomach ulcers to heal.
Pfizer manufactured Zantac in the United States from 2000 to 2006, and Sanofi is the current manufacturer. The companies marketed the drug as safe and effective. However, regulators discovered that some drugs containing ranitidine also contained the chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NMDA is a probable carcinogen that has been linked to cancer in animals.
The FDA warned the public of the potential risks of Zantac in September of 2019 and requested that manufacturers recall Zantac on April 1, 2020. It also advised consumers to stop taking the drug but cautioned consumers to not flush Zantac down the toilet. That’s because ranitidine could allow NMDA to enter the water supply.
What is a Zantac lawsuit?
Once consumers learned that Zantac contains a probable contaminant, those diagnosed with cancer began filing lawsuits alleging that the manufacturer failed to warn them of the danger of the drug. In these cases, victims pursue two kinds of personal injury claims: negligence and strict liability. Strict liability is often subdivided into two claims: failure to warn and design defects.
How an Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Can Prove Negligence
In a Zantac injury claim for negligence, you must show that the Zantac manufacturer owed you a duty of care, the manufacturer breached its duty of care, you suffered an injury, and the manufacturer caused your injury. Ranitidine manufacturers owe consumers a level of ordinary care in designing, researching, manufacturing, marketing, supplying, testing, and distributing the drug. When manufacturers fail to exercise ordinary care in any one of those steps, they might be considered negligent.
The next elements of negligence pertain to your injury. You must have been injured in a way that is compensable under the law, and that injury must have been directly and proximately caused by the defendant. If you got sick with cancer after taking Zantac, then you could meet both of those elements.
How a Lawyer Proves Product Liability
Product liability refers to the liability that manufacturers have for injuries caused by their products. Product liability is typically considered a strict liability action, meaning the manufacturer is liable for your injuries regardless of intention. Additionally, there are three kinds of product liability under the broader law of strict liability: Design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
If the product is defectively designed, then it is inherently unsafe and should have been designed to be safer (though some products are unavoidably unsafe). A manufacturing defect occurs during the product’s assembly or construction. Marketing defects include inadequate instructions, incorrect labeling, or insufficient safety warnings.
To hold a manufacturer strictly liable for your Zantac injury, you must prove that:
- The manufacturer sells Zantac
- The manufacturer is the commercial seller of Zantac
- You suffered an injury (most likely cancer)
- When the manufacturer sold Zantac, Zantac was defective
- The defect was the actual and proximate cause of your injury
Read More: Texas Product Liability Lawyers
What Zantac Lawsuits are OUT there?
Zantac class actions have gained traction in large part due to two cases: Galimidi v. Sanofi and Blake v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. In each of those cases, the victims had cancer and had previously taken Zantac. These cases paved the way for class action lawsuits surrounding Zantac.
Galimidi v. Sanofi
Joseph Galimidi suffered frequent heartburn and acid reflux. Starting in 2009, he took Zantac to help with those conditions. After he was diagnosed with an extremely rare case of male breast cancer in 2013, he alleged that Zantac caused his cancer. He claimed, among other causes of action, that the manufacturer Sanofi was both negligent and strictly liable for his injuries.
Blake v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Mark Allan Blake started taking prescription Zantac in1996. He later switched to over-the-counter Zantac and took it at least four times a week before developing bladder cancer in 2018. In his claim, he stated that the manufacturer was negligent and should be held strictly liable. More specifically, under the strict liability cause of action, he alleged that the manufacturer failed to warn him of the dangers of Zantac and that Zantac was defectively designed.
What Kinds of Cancer Does Zantac Cause?
Both negligence and product liability require you to show that you were injured by the manufacturer. You can prove that you have suffered an injury by showing that you have cancer after taking Zantac for an extended period. Namely, if you developed thyroid, bladder, breast, or prostate cancer, you can possibly fulfill the elements of negligence and product liability in seeking compensation for your injuries.
How an Austin personal injury lawyer can help
If you took Zantac and were diagnosed with cancer or sustained other injuries, you deserve to understand your rights. If you are curious about your chances of recovering for your injury, speak with an Austin personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can assess the strength of your claim based on the facts of your case and help you decide how to proceed.
Filing Your Claim
If you do move forward with a lawsuit, the first thing your lawyer will help you do is file your claim. To do this, you must identify the correct defendant. Research or let your lawyer look up which manufacturer produced the Zantac or other brand of ranitidine drug that caused your injury. It may even be appropriate for you to file against more than one defendant, depending on the manufacturing chain.
Also, you should use the correct cause of action when you file your civil claim. We have briefly discussed negligence and various forms of strict product liability. However, if you are suing on behalf of a loved one who passed away from cancer that was caused by Zantac, you will likely file a wrongful death claim. Your attorney can review your case and decide which causes of action are appropriate for you.
Usually, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Texas is two years starting from the date you were injured, but cancer cases are a little different. Since it takes a while for cancer to develop and longer for you to learn that you have cancer, the two-year statute of limitations begins when you find out or should have found out that Zantac caused your cancer. Talk with a lawyer to ensure that you still have time to sue for your Zantac injury.
Once you have filed your claim, your lawyer can help you collect the information necessary to prove the elements of your case. The attorney can decide which pieces of evidence you need given the facts of your case and will exchange that information with the defendant during the process of discovery. At this stage, your lawyer will also help you identify doctors or other individuals who could serve as witnesses at trial.
After the parties involved in the case have sufficiently gathered the evidence, they will attempt to reach a settlement. The manufacturer will have a team of lawyers defending it against your claims, and it can be risky to address those arguments without a lawyer of your own. Your lawyer can try to anticipate the arguments that the defendant will make and keep the defendant from reducing its financial responsibility for the accident.
If the case will not settle, meaning you and the defendant cannot agree to an appropriate settlement amount, your case might go to trial. Most cases settle because both plaintiffs and defendants prefer the predictability and control of an out-of-court settlement. In a jury trial, both parties have less control over the final award amount. Your lawyer can help you decide whether you should go to trial or accept a settlement offer.
Read More: Austin Personal Injury Lawyers
What to do if you have taken Zantac
Talk with a Lawyer
Even if you are simply considering filing a claim, speak with a lawyer first. Tell the lawyer when you started taking Zantac, how much you took and how often, and whether you have cancer. The attorney can also let you know whether you should continue to with your claim if you do not have cancer. Let an attorney answer any questions you have about your case before you move forward.
After you receive confirmation about the strength of your case from your lawyer, collect evidence to show that you took Zantac and that you have or had cancer after taking Zantac. People who only took Zantac once or twice are unlikely to have developed cancer as a result of taking the drug. Therefore, if you can only show that you have taken Zantac on a few isolated occasions, you probably will not be able to prove that it caused your cancer. Use empty Zantac bottles, prescriptions, and diagnoses of the condition for which you took Zantac to show that you took Zantac regularly.
To prove that you have or had cancer, gather all of the medical documentation you can find. Include in your documentation the names of the care providers you visited, the dates of the appointments, what happened at the appointments, diagnoses, treatments, and hours you took off from work without pay. If you do not have this information gathered already, your attorney can help you uncover it.
Finally, you need evidence to show that taking Zantac caused your cancer. Luckily, much of this work has been done by the researchers who discovered NDMA in drugs containing ranitidine. A Zantac injury lawyer should be able to provide this evidence for your case by finding an expert witness to talk about the connection between ranitidine and NDMA.
If You Do Not Have Cancer After Using Zantac
You might wonder, “What if I used Zantac but did not get cancer?” You may still be able to pursue compensation because the manufacturer did not warn you of the potential harm from using Zantac. Speak with a lawyer about joining a class action Zantac lawsuit for those who took Zantac for years without understanding the risks.
What compensation can you receive for a Zantac injury?
If you effectively prove the elements of your claim, the defendant will compensate you for your loss or injury. Parties and juries base appropriate settlement or judgment amounts on the damages you suffered. Damages in Zantac injury cases can be economic, non-economic, or punitive:
You may have paid out of pocket for some of your medical expenses, such as chemotherapy. Economic damages refer to those financial losses you experienced because of the defendant. They include your medical bills for appointments and treatment as well as missed wages from time off work. If you are suing on behalf of a loved one who passed away from cancer, economic damages also include funeral costs.
Non-economic damages refer to the losses you experience that are not strictly financial. They are designed to compensate you for the pain and suffering you felt as a result of your injury. If you are suing on behalf of a loved one who passed away, you could receive non-economic damages for your loss of companionship.
Sometimes courts make big companies pay an extra fee to punish them and deter them from similar conduct in the future. These are called punitive damages. Since Zantac has affected so many victims, a court may find punitive damages in a Zantac injury case appropriate.
Speak with one of our Austin Zantac injury lawyers at Zinda law group
If you or a loved one fell ill with cancer after taking Zantac, the company that manufactured the drug may be liable for your injury. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group want to help you learn about your rights and provide you with the guidance you need. We can help you determine whether you have a strong case and whether you are eligible for maximum compensation.
Our lawyers have the resources to help you at every step of litigation. If you want to learn how we can help, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312. An experienced Austin lawyer will take your call and offer a free consultation before helping you with your next steps.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.