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January 14, 2021

Zantac Design Defect Claims Thrown Out in Cancer-Causing Products Liability Litigation

On February 6, the United States Panel on Multidistrict Litigation released a transfer order moving all litigation related to claims against the manufacturers of Zantac. This action followed a decision issued on January 8, where the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida had cut claims from cancer-related litigation over the popular antacid. The court said that federal law preempts certain claims that the drugs were defectively designed.

Plaintiffs argued that ranitidine, the active ingredient in Zantac is unstable and breaks down into NDMA, a well-known chemical linked to cancer. The first Zantac lawsuit was filed in 2019, where plaintiffs accused drug-makers Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim of manufacturing, marketing and selling a product they knew or should have known was contaminated with an industrial chemical known to cause cancer. In April of 2020, FDA announced that all Zantac brand drugs, prescription and over-the-counter should be immediately pulled from the market because of potential NDMA contamination.