Class Action versus Single Plaintiff Zantac Lawsuits
As we discussed in a previous post, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered a recall of the popular antacid drug Zantac (ranitidine) after it was found to contain significant levels of the cancer-causing substance NDMA. Since that post we have received numerous questions from cancer victims and their families asking us if they should participate in a class action lawsuit against Zantac’s manufacturers.
In today’s post the dangerous drug lawyer at The Doan Law Firm will revue the advantages and disadvantages of class action versus single-plaintiff lawsuits before providing information that may be of interest to those considering filing a lawsuit over a Zantac-related cancer lawsuit.
About Zantac (ranitidine)
Zantac (ranitidine) is used to block the production of stomach acid and has been extensively used for the treatment of heartburn, peptic ulcers, and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The drug first became commercially available in the U.S. in 1981 as a prescription-only medication, but later became available in an over-the counter (OTC) preparation.
In late 2019 it was discovered that, due to a peculiarity in its molecular structure, Zantac could release a cancer-causing substance called NDMA if heated to body temperature or if stored at room temperature. Cancers associated with NDMA primarily involve the esophagus, stomach, and the intestines. This finding caused the FDA to issue a voluntary recall order of all Zantac products in April of 2020.
Class Action vs. Single-Plaintiff Lawsuits
If you developed cancer after using Zantac, or if you lost a family member who used Zantac to cancer, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer demanding compensation for your losses. In law, such compensation is called damages. In order to claim damages for a Zantac-related cancer, you have two options: participating as a member of the class in a class action lawsuit or filing a lawsuit that is separate from a class action.
In any lawsuit there are two parties: the defendant (the party that is alleged to have caused an injury to another) and the plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit). There can be more than one defendant but there is usually only one plaintiff. In class action lawsuits there are many potential plaintiffs, all of whom are alleging the same, or similar, injuries. These plaintiffs make up the class, with the class agreeing to abide by the decision of the court hearing the class action lawsuit.
Class action lawsuits offer the advantage that, as a cancer victim, you only need to join (opt in) the class in order to collect damages. This spares you from the considerable expense of filing a separate lawsuit since the liability of the drug’s manufacturers has already been established. The major disadvantage to participating in a class action is that the amount of damages you may receive is often less that you might receive if you file your own separate lawsuit.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, you also have the right to file a single-plaintiff lawsuit even though the facts in your case are the same as in a class action, e.g a cancer developed after a victim used Zantac. However, as previously mentioned, you will be responsible for proving your allegation in court, meaning that you be responsible for a separate lawsuit where you will have to produce your own expert witnesses in support of your case.
Your decision regarding which of these two courses of action to pursue should be reached only after you have spoken with an experienced dangerous drug lawyer who is experienced in dealing with class action claims as well as managing individual Zantac-related cancer lawsuits. One such lawyer is the dangerous drug lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national law firm with offices located throughout the country.
Don’t lose your right to compensation!
If you accept a class action settlement for your Zantac-related cancer, you will be barred from filing another lawsuit, even if you find that your medical expenses exceed the amount of your class action settlement!
If you are considering filing a Zantac-related cancer lawsuit, or are considering participating in a Zantac class action lawsuit, we urge you to contact the dangerous drug lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free, no obligation, review of the facts in your Zantac-related cancer case as well as a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of a class action vs. single-plaintiff lawsuits.
When you contact The Doan Law Firm there is never a charge to review your case or to speak with our staff regarding your best course of action. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in your best interest, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.