More Zantac Cancer Settlements Reached by GlaxoSmithKline to Resolve State-Court Lawsuits

Settlement resolves four Zantac cancer lawsuits selected for bellwether trials in California, the first of which was expected to go before a jury begin in November.

GlaxoSmithKline announced this week that it has reached a Zantac lawsuit settlement agreement with four plaintiffs pursuing lawsuits in California state court, each involving allegations that recalled heartburn drug caused them to develop cancer.

Zantac (ranitidine) was used by millions of Americans for treatment of heartburn and acid reflux, before it was removed from the market in late 2019, after it was discovered that the active pharmaceutical ingredient is inherently unstable and produces high levels of the chemical byproduct N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a potent human carcinogen.

Over the past four years, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Sanofi and various other manufacturers, distributors and retailers involved in the sale of brand name or generic ranitidine pills have faced Zantac lawsuits brought by former users who indicate they have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer or other injuries, as NDMA moved through their body.

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Zantac Lawsuits

Side effects of Zantac may increase the risk of cancer, due to chemical impurities found in the heartburn drug.


For several years, most of the litigation was focused in the federal court system, where all Zantac cancer lawsuits were centralized before Judge Robin L. Rosenberg in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. However, late last year, Judge Rosenberg issued a controversial ruling, determining that all of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses were excluded from testifying at trial under federal evidentiary rules.

While appeals have been filed to challenge Judge Rosenberg’s ruling, the decision has left federal plaintiffs without any means of proving the recalled Zantac pills caused their cancer, and all Zantac lawsuits pending in the federal court system have been dismissed. However, the federal ruling does not have any impact on lawsuits filed in California and various other state courts, where different standards for the admissibility of expert witness testimony apply.

Zantac Settlement Agreement Reached Weeks Before Trial

The first Zantac cancer lawsuit to go to trial was scheduled to begin in California state court on November 13. However, in a press release issued by GlaxoSmithKline on October 11, the drug manufacturer indicated that case had been resolved, along with three other claims in California slated for bellwether trials.

GlaxoSmithKline indicates that the details of the settlements are being kept confidential, claiming it is not yet prepared to reach a larger Zantac settlement agreements to resolve claims still pending in state courts nationwide.

“The settlements reflect the Company’s desire to avoid the distraction related to protracted litigation,” the press release states. “GSK does not admit any liability in the settlements and will continue to vigorously defend itself based on the facts and the science in all other Zantac cases.”

Even though the results of the trials would have had no binding impact on other Zantac cancer lawsuits pending nationwide, the trials were going to be closely watched to see how the jury would have responded to evidence and testimony which could be repeated in tens of thousands of trials nationwide.

October 2023 Zantac Lawsuit Update

There are an estimated 70,000 Zantac lawsuits still pending in state courts nationwide, with other claims expected to go before juries in various different venues later this year, if additional settlements are not reached.

While federal plaintiffs are appealing the decision made Judge Rosenberg in the federal court system, other state court judges are expected to weigh in on the reliability of plaintiffs expert witness testimony in the coming months, evaluating the strength and reliability of the plaintiffs evidence establishing that Zantac causes cancer under different state court standards.

In addition to trials recently averted in California, other trials are expected in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Nevada. The results of these other early cases could help the parties reach a Zantac cancer lawsuit settlement agreement, preventing state courts from having to hold tens of thousands of costly trials.


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