Court Update for Zantac: The Popular Heartburn Medication- Continued

Apr 09, 2019
  • Boesen Law is committed to providing critical court updates. This week, we continue our report on Zantac, the commonly used heartburn medication, and the suit that has been filed against it. Last week, we reported about the new arguments that Judge Robin L. Rosenberg had rejected from last year. We also discussed the new rulings (and several others) that Judge Rosenberg had made on New Year’s Eve of last year.

    We left off last week regarding the three separate master complaints that the Plaintiffs have filed against the defendants. The complaints include a personal injury complaint, a proposed nationwide consumer class action, and a proposed class action on behalf of the third-party payers. Judge Rosenberg commended the plaintiffs for correctly arguing that some state laws take a drug’s labeling into consideration as part of a design-defect claim.

    If we recall the information that was shared last week, Judge Rosenberg rejected arguments stating that the claims and allegations of Zantac being misbranded were “preempted”. Consumers and third-party payers argued that because of excessive levels of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancerous substance, Zantac should be labeled as mislabeled. Zantac’s formulation had already been approved by the FDA. To take the drug, update the formulation, and resell the improved medication would require for companies to resubmit the new formulation to the FDA.

    According to Judge Rosenberg, he reported that the plaintiffs “.. are granted leave to replead design-defect claims against the defendants that are based on the labeling of ranitidine products”. This means that the plaintiffs can reargue their claims due to the fact that there are now more paths to consider like in this instance, many states require for brand-name manufacturers to strengthen warnings on drug labels without waiting for the FDA to sign off on those reports.

    In a statement, the Plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel said that, “Based on today’s orders and the orders issued in late December, Plaintiffs can re-plead all claims against certain groups of Defendants and other claims against all groups of Defendants. These rulings are especially important in light of the 60,000-plus individuals diagnosed with cancer who have already submitted claims to the MDL registry, as well as approximately 1,000 cases filed to date in federal and state courts across the country.”

    Along with Judge Rosenberg allowing the plaintiffs to re-plead their case in light of new evidence, he also dismissed state law claims seeking compensation for monetary losses due to buying over-the-counter versions of the Zantac medication. It was found that Congress did not intend for any state to classify a claim as a product liability claim when the Plaintiff, themselves, were not personally injured due to the medication. However, now that the Plaintiff is allowed to replead some of their claims, it is possible that the monetary loss can be brought up again. We will have to see what Judge Rosenberg’s final ruling is.

    Boesen Law is covering the updates as they occur. If you have any questions in regards to this case or if you are seeking legal advice and representation, please feel free to contact us at . Boesen Law is always available.