Pfizer Zantac Settlement Payouts Will Total Up to $250M for Users Diagnosed with Cancer: Reports

GlaxoSmithKline reportedly faces the bulk of the remaining Zantac cancer lawsuits, with the first case of more than 70,000 claims currently going before a jury in Chicago.

Details are beginning to emerge about a recent Zantac settlement agreement announced earlier this month, indicating Pfizer plans to pay up to $250 million to resolve 10,000 cancer lawsuits brought by former users of the recalled heartburn drug. However, the deal continues to leave tens of thousands of claims involving versions manufactured by other companies unresolved.

The Pfizer Zantac settlement was announced just weeks after Sanofi announced a similar agreement to settle 4,000 Zantac cancer lawsuits for more than $100 million.

Most of the remaining unresolved Zantac lawsuits involve claims against GlaxoSmithKline and Boehringer Ingelheim, who have failed to reach widespread settlements to resolve claims. The first Zantac trial is currently underway against those drug makers in Chicago, involving claims brought by a former user who developed colorectal cancer.

Zantac Cancer Lawsuits

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, following the discovery 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.

In the wake of the recall, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim Pfizer, Sanofi and various other manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have faced more than 80,000 Zantac lawsuits brought throughout the U.S., including claims brought by former users who indicate were diagnosed with bladder cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and other injuries after taking brand name Zantac or one of its generic equivalents.

ZANTAC LAWSUITS

Did you or a loved one take recalled Zantac?

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

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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, in 2022 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 did not have any impact on lawsuits filed in Illinois, Delaware and various other state courts, where different standards for the admissibility of expert witness testimony apply.

Over the last year, several individual state court lawsuits were scheduled to go to trial, but Zantac settlements were reached in each case before the case could go before a jury.

Although GlaxoSmithKline agreed to make Zantac settlement payouts in two such cases earlier this year, the drug maker allowed a recent claim to go before a jury in Illinois state court, which is being closely watched to help parties gauge the extent of liability that drug maker may face.

Pfizer Zantac Settlement Agreement

Although Pfizer had a limited role in the manufacturing and sale of Zantac products, reports suggest that the drug maker has agreed to payouts totaling between $200 million and $250 million for about 10,000 former users. The agreement was reported in a Delaware Superior Court filing last week, according to a report by the Financial Times (subscription required).

While no details have been released about how the money will be divided, it appears that the average Zantac lawsuit payout for claims against Pfizer will be between $20,000 and $25,000.

The company notes that it stopped selling Zantac 15 years ago, and that it was only involved with manufacturing the drug for a limited time. However, the manufacturer, which sold Zantac between 1998 and 2006, still claims the recalled heartburn drug does not cause cancer.

Not factoring in this latest reported settlement, there more than 70,000 claims remaining that are unresolved, mostly in Delaware state court, where Judge Vivian Medinilla is currently weighing whether Zantac cases in that state should be dismissed on similar grounds as the federal cases, following hearings held in January. Her decision could determine whether the bulk of Zantac lawsuits filed in that state move forward.

Much like the federal cases, if manufacturers can convince Judge Medinilla to exclude all of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, it would effectively kill the litigation in that venue, where most claims have been filed since the federal MDL was dismissed.

1 Comments

  • AngelMay 18, 2024 at 4:20 am

    These settlements are an insult to all of us who have suffered from cancer! It's like a Hugh slap in the face. It is more than apparent the makers of this drug Zantac, are guilty. I was only 47 when I developed breast cancer. (Ductal carcinoma) . In 2013. And still suffer with pain every single day. And lost the love of my life. Let alone ,all the poor souls who lost there life, to the dis[Show More]These settlements are an insult to all of us who have suffered from cancer! It's like a Hugh slap in the face. It is more than apparent the makers of this drug Zantac, are guilty. I was only 47 when I developed breast cancer. (Ductal carcinoma) . In 2013. And still suffer with pain every single day. And lost the love of my life. Let alone ,all the poor souls who lost there life, to the disease. Hold these makers, of Zantac accountable... Seems to me, they hold no remorse for human life!!! I am personally insulted by these settlements.

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