Zantac Lawsuit: Cancer Claims and Payouts

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Written By Rocky Horton

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Zantac lawsuits began when the popular ranitidine-based heartburn medicine was pulled from store shelves. The FDA, in response to new studies demonstrating the possibility of ranitidine breaking down into a carcinogen called NDMA, requested retailers to pull ranitidine-containing products, including Zantac, from their shelves. There was never an official recall, but products containing ranitidine are no longer sold in pharmacies, supermarkets, or by online vendors.

News of the FDA’s studies has resulted in a massive Zantac lawsuit with plaintiffs demanding compensation for injuries sustained due to long-term use of products containing ranitidine. Filing a Zantac cancer lawsuit is technically a product liability case, so a personal injury attorney experienced in product liability law would be an advantage. Multiple manufacturers have been named in the lawsuits, which now number over 2,000.

Continue reading for a Zantac lawsuit update, including how you may be able to qualify for compensation and how a lawyer can help you make a successful case.

Zantac Cancer Lawsuit Update

The plaintiffs of the MDL class action lawsuit against Zantac received a terrible blow in December 2022 when Judge Robin L. Rosenberg dismissed the cases summarily. She claimed that the lawyers had not drawn a sufficient connection between Zantac and cancer, citing unreliable evidence.

The nearly 2,000 plaintiffs who had filed in this class action are now appealing the judge’s verdict. The status of the unfiled claims is also uncertain now since those who do not pay $400 filing fees will lose their case regardless of whether the verdict gets appealed. The judge was asked to bundle the unfiled claims as part of the appeal but denied this request as of January 23, 2023.

Plaintiffs in the class action can still win on the appeal or pursue claims in the state courts. As of now, though, it seems like the major class action in the Zantac cancer lawsuit has a short future. Despite this, you should still pursue available avenues for compensation if you believe that you or a loved one developed cancer due to the use of Zantac.

Zantac Lawsuit Claims

Zantac cancer lawsuits claim that the ranitidine in Zantac breaks down into a cancer-causing agent called NDMA under certain conditions. Studies conducted by the FDA beginning in 2019 discovered that the concentration of NDMA can increase over time as well as in increased storage temperatures.

This means that Zantac can become more dangerous the longer it sits on the shelf and depending on the conditions in which it was stored. The Zantac cancer lawsuit is a product liability case that relies on verifying a link between the use of NDMA-containing Zantac and the development of cancer.

Importantly, the cases are not based on proving fraud on the part of GlaxoSmithKline, the company that manufactured Zantac. This would entail proving that the company knew about the potential dangers of NDMA concentrations in Zantac and sold the drug anyway.

Liability cases seek to compensate consumers for injuries caused by the normal use of a product without seeking to prove the company’s intentional wrongdoing. You should speak with a product liability attorney to see if your case qualifies you for a Zantac cancer lawsuit and how much you can expect to be compensated for your injuries.

What kind of cancer does Zantac Cause?

The NDMA that can potentially accumulate in Zantac has been linked to several cancers. The bodily systems that are vulnerable are those that come in direct contact with the Zantac or have to process the medication throughout your body.

These include bladder, liver, stomach, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers. While other cancers are theoretically possible, it would be more difficult to file a claim for unrecognized cancers, especially with the Zantac cancer lawsuit being dismissed as of January 2023.

Due to the centrality of these organ systems, cancers sustained from Zantac count among the most expensive to treat, which is why the projected settlements for the cases were so high early on (see below).

Does Generic Zantac Cause Cancer?

The Zantac cancer lawsuit focuses on the brand-name form of ranitidine, though generic forms of ranitidine could theoretically contain NDMA as well. The FDA tested many generic drugs and posted the results in terms of the probability of containing carcinogens.

As such, all OTC ranitidine has been removed from pharmacy shelves, though their cancer-causing potential is considered more of a risk than a certainty. This is a major reason that Judge Rosenberg dismissed the case, stating that studies have not yet shown at what concentration NDMA causes cancer or how consistent the traces discovered in Zantac are in contributing to it.

Since the Zantac cancer lawsuit is working in likelihoods and probabilities, generic Zantac is no longer being represented by the majority of lawyers. However, an attorney may be able to help you form a case if you meet the other eligibility criteria.

Zantac Lawsuit Settlements

Due to the dismissal of the class action against Zantac, there isn’t much information available on the average settlement for a Zantac cancer lawsuit. However, in August 2022, makers of generic Zantac settled with a few early plaintiffs out of court for $500,000 rather than have the lawsuit go to trial.

This happened after the first plaintiff, Joseph Bayer of Illinois, dismissed his case voluntarily. The settlement amount was based on projections of Bayer’s injury costs, including not only monetary damages and medical costs but also his pain and suffering.

Since a Zantac lawsuit involves claims of life-changing illnesses like cancer, the potential for large settlements remains a possibility even after the case was dismissed after the last Zantac lawsuit update. GlaxoSmithKline still has over $45 million in company funds set aside for litigation costs, not including settlements, in projected Zantac cancer lawsuits.

How Much is the Zantac Lawsuit Worth?

This is a clue to the potential for a large Zantac lawsuit payout since settlements out of court often estimate what successful cases are worth. However, with the dismissal of the class action, the answer to the question of “how much can I get from a Zantac lawsuit?” may not be easy to estimate.

Accurately calculating your potential settlement can be a difficult process, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Medical costs should include not only current treatment costs but projected bills for future treatments. Doctor’s notes and reports on the needed treatments based on your injuries will help validate your settlement.
  1. Since cancer is a debilitating illness, it can directly impact your ability to perform your job and enjoy your life. Loss of wages, as well as loss of work potential due to injuries from your cancer and its treatments, should factor into your final figure.
  2. “Pain and suffering” is an important concept in a product liability suit. The number of your pain between 1 and 5, which will be used as a multiplier against your monetary costs to arrive at a final settlement, may require testimony to verify. The legal definition of pain and suffering includes depression, loss of relationships, loss of potential, and more.

The fact is that every Zantac lawsuit, as with any product liability case, is different depending on the injuries sustained and the evidence available. This particular case is made even more complicated by the lack of completed cases thus far. It may not be until the next Zantac lawsuit update that we get a clear picture of how much a Zantac lawsuit is worth.

How do You Qualify for a Zantac Lawsuit?

Even with the case dismissal, we recommend seeing if you qualify for a Zantac lawsuit and working on preparing your case. In order to be eligible for a settlement, you have to meet the following four criteria:

  • You must have taken Zantac for at least a year and at least once a week before you received your cancer diagnosis
  • You must be diagnosed with cancer before reaching the age of 89
  • You must be diagnosed with cancer not more than 20 years after using Zantac
  • You must have evidence proving that you took Zantac, including prescriptions, medical notes, or pharmacy receipts

Unfortunately, some people may fall through the cracks of these requirements, such as someone seeking compensation for their 90-year-old mother who was diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac 25 years ago.

Unfortunately, the case has to set limits on the probability of Zantac causing cancer, such as the age limit, which restricts plaintiffs from being the age group most likely to have cancer regardless of their medication use.

How Can a Zantac Lawsuit Lawyer Help?

Regardless of the most recent Zantac lawsuit update, if you feel that you were injured as a result of your use of Zantac, you deserve compensation. The companies that manufactured and distributed Zantac should be held accountable for the damage to your life and the lives of your family.

An experienced product liability attorney can offer you a Zantac lawsuit free case evaluation to examine your eligibility for a Zantac cancer lawsuit. As mentioned, most lawyers do not accept generic Zantac cases, so you may need to provide evidence of using the name-brand version. 

But regardless of your eligibility, a free evaluation can help you understand your chances of getting a settlement, assuming the class action is successfully appealed and the cases begin going to court.


A Zantac cancer lawsuit is a product liability case suing GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the heartburn medication Zantac, for injuries sustained from prolonged use of their ranitidine-based formula. FDA studies beginning in 2019 showed unsafe levels of a human carcinogen, NDMA, in ranitidine-based heartburn medications that had been stored on shelves for a long time or at high temperatures.

The class action against the company hit a major snag when the judge dismissed all 2,000 plaintiffs on the basis of insufficient evidence connecting Zantac to a cancer diagnosis. This contradicted initial assessments of compensation eligibility of $500,000 or more per case.

Despite the dismissal, as of the time of writing, an appeal is ongoing for the plaintiffs that, if accepted, could reactivate the cases. Speak with an experienced product liability attorney about a Zantac lawsuit free case evaluation to see if you are eligible for compensation due to a cancer diagnosis caused by prolonged use of Zantac.

Rocky Horton

Rocky Horton


Rocky Horton is a health and safety expert from Chapel Hill, NC. He is the founder of AccidentAdvisor and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, and other publications. Learn more.