Zantac Cancer Lawsuit Payouts To Provide $25K Average Per Claim In Sanofi Settlement: Report

Sanofi will pay $100 million to resolve about 4,000 claims over toxic chemicals in the recalled heartburn drug, but tens of thousands of additional Zantac cancer lawsuits remain unsettled, with most pending in Delaware state court.

Details have emerged about a recently announced Zantac cancer settlement that Sanofi reached to resolve about 4,000 claims, indicating that the total payout will be more than $100 million, with each claimant receiving an average of $25,000.

Sanofi announced the settlement agreement earlier this month, but provided no details. However, the average Zantac lawsuit payouts were outlined in a Bloomberg News report issued on April 22, which indicates that the individual amounts will vary depending on how many individuals sign on to the deal.

Zantac (ranitidine) was used by millions of Americans for treatment of heartburn and acid reflux, before a Zantac recall was announced in late 2019, following the discovery that the active pharmaceutical ingredient is inherently unstable, resulting in the creation of high levels of a chemical byproduct known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a potent human carcinogen.

Despite the settlement, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim Pfizer, Sanofi and various other manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, continue to face more than 70,000 Zantac lawsuits that are still pending in various state courts nationwide, with most filed in Delaware. About 20,000 of those Delaware claims name Sanofi as a defendant, involving allegations that former users have been diagnosed with bladder cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and other injuries after taking Zantac.

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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.

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The Zantac cancer lawsuit settlement focuses on state claims made outside of Delaware state court, which have still not yet been resolved.

The litigation was originally focused in the federal court system, where all Zantac 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 that excluded all of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses from testifying at trial under federal evidentiary rules, resulting in all Zantac lawsuits pending in the federal court system being dismissed

While appeals have been filed to challenge Judge Rosenberg’s ruling, the decision did not have any impact on lawsuits filed in California, Delaware and various other state courts, where different standards for the admissibility of expert witness testimony apply.

Delaware Superior Court 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.

May 2024 Zantac Lawsuits Update

Sanofi’s Zantac settlement announcement comes after GlaxoSmithKline settled several individual Zantac lawsuits before they went to trial in California state court.

GlaxoSmithKline announced two Zantac settlements in February, and another last November. Like Sanofi, the company has claimed it still plans to defend itself against the remaining lawsuits. However, it also made those statements after previous settlements, and the drug maker faces several additional Zantac lawsuits that are scheduled for trial in California in the coming months.

While the results of those trials will have no binding impact on other claims pending nationwide, they are likely to be closely watched and the average Zantac cancer lawsuit payouts awarded by juries may send a signal about how similar evidence and testimony will be viewed in thousands of other cases.

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