Zantac Settlement Payout: What Can Claimants Expect? (2024)

Sarah Edwards

Contributor

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

Editor

Read in 4 mins

Summary

  • Zantac manufacturers Sanofi and Pfizer have settled some cases
  • These settlements committed millions of dollars to claimants
  • Average Zantac settlement payout is $25,000, some may get more

Zantac Lawsuit Update 2024

Zantac lawsuits are pending in federal court in Delaware and state courts across the country. Before introducing the latest Zantac lawsuit update, it is worth reviewing the basis for these cases. The crux of these lawsuits is that four giants of the pharmaceutical industry—GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sanofi, Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim—marketed Zantac without informing consumers that the drug could cause cancer.

Specifically, Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, can degrade into a carcinogenic substance called NDMA. The plaintiffs’ expert witnesses allege that this dangerous drug can cause a range of cancers as it passes through the digestive system. The FDA rendered an opinion similar to that of the plaintiffs’ experts when it ordered a recall of Zantac.

Tens of thousands of cases were grouped in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Florida federal court. The judge dismissed these cases on the grounds that the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses could not establish the reliability of their analysis.

An MDL in Delaware includes a group of tens of thousands of cases. The Delaware cases overcame the hurdle that blocked the Florida cases. Specifically, the judge determined that a different set of expert witnesses had gathered enough scientific evidence that the cases could proceed.

The Delaware cases are grouped into a federal MDL. This means the suits remain independent while the plaintiffs are allowed to cooperate. These cases will go to trial, one by one, now that the judge has cleared the expert witnesses to testify.

Finally, plaintiffs in California and other states have filed class actions against Zantac manufacturers. The plaintiffs in the Florida case can join these class actions or refile in Delaware.

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Recent Zantac Settlement News

After hearing this news, the manufacturers entered into settlement discussions. Whether they were concerned about the prospect of facing a jury or decided they had spent enough defending their lawsuits, Sanofi and Pfizer agreed to settle at least a portion of the cases.

Sanofi’s settlement was worth $100 million and resolved 4,000 cases. This might seem like a large amount, but it averages only $25,000 per claim. News outlets report that Pfizer reached a similar settlement of $250 million to resolve 10,000 cases, also at an average of $25,000 per claim.

Finally, GSK settled confidentially with an individual plaintiff. The parties did not release information about the value of the settlement. Confidentiality is a common settlement term because it prevents other plaintiffs’ lawyers from learning how much the company is willing to pay.

Average Zantac Settlement Payout

It would be easy to say that the average Zantac settlement payout is $25,000 based on the publicly available information. However, this doesn’t mean that every claimant can expect to receive $25,000.

While the two recent settlement totals divided by the number of cases is $25,000, news reports do not state that the money will be divided evenly. Dangerous drug cases often involve assigning each claimant to one of several tiers. The claimants then receive different amounts based on their assigned tiers. The Roundup lawsuit settlement, for example, created a tiered system of payouts.

There has been no public discussion about how Sanofi and Pfizer will pay claimants. However, deceased Zantac users might qualify for the highest tier with the largest payouts. Users who underwent cancer treatment and have a terminal prognosis might qualify for a middle tier. Users who had a tumor successfully removed with no spread might land on the lowest tier.

Thus, instead of $25,000 each, top-tier recipients might receive $75,000, middle-tier recipients might receive $50,000 and bottom-tier recipients could only get $10,000.

In creating the tiers, drug companies might consider the following factors:

  • Type of cancer
  • Cancer treatment costs
  • The claimant’s age
  • The claimant’s salary

The settlement could also leave out some litigants due to the type of cancer they developed. NDMA is a highly toxic carcinogen that could cause an array of cancers. However, Zantac cases have focused on the following five cancers:

  • Bladder
  • Stomach
  • Esophageal
  • Liver
  • Pancreatic

Thus, someone who developed breast cancer after using Zantac might not share in the settlement. They would need to decide whether to drop their claim or to continue to fight an individual lawsuit against the manufacturer.

If you think you might be entitled to a Zantac settlement check, ConsumerShield can connect you with experienced attorneys.

Contact ConsumerShield for More Information

Consumers of Zantac who developed cancer have the right to pursue injury claims against the manufacturers. ConsumerShield educates consumers about their rights and refers them to lawyers who can help. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • One set of Zantac lawsuits gathered in an MDL in Florida was dismissed after a judge ruled the expert witnesses could not testify. A different set of MDL cases continues in Delaware after overcoming the hurdle that ended the Florida lawsuits. Drug companies won the first trial in Delaware.

  • Although drug companies scored a win in Delaware and dismissals in Florida, they are settling cases. GSK settled an individual lawsuit on undisclosed terms. Sanofi and Pfizer settled 14,000 lawsuits for a combined $350 million or an average of $25,000 each, although settlement tiers have not been disclosed.

  • There is no way to predict how long the Zantac lawsuits will take. However, the first cases have gone to trial. The drug companies have won one case and settled another. Unless the drug companies offer a global settlement, more cases will soon follow.

  • Multidistrict litigations are often effective at pressuring manufacturers to settle. Each case retains its individual character, and the drug companies face several years of trial after trial. Once juries start returning verdicts in these cases, plaintiffs and drug companies will have a better picture of possible settlement timelines and terms.

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