Family Sues Zantac Makers Over Fatal Case of Pancreatic Cancer - Consumer Justice Foundation

Family Sues Zantac Makers Over Fatal Case of Pancreatic Cancer

Written by Faith Anderson on June 4, 2020

The surviving family member of a Pennsylvania man who died from pancreatic cancer last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the makers of Zantac, alleging that years of exposure to carcinogenic chemicals in the recalled heartburn drug caused her loved one’s death. The Zantac wrongful death lawsuit was filed late last month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by Darlene Bowers, on behalf of herself and the estate of Jerry Bowers, who in August 2019 died from pancreatic cancer allegedly caused by exposure to NDMA in Zantac. If you or someone you loved has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or another type of cancer following exposure to recalled Zantac, contact our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation today. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturing company and we can help put you in touch with an attorney who specializes in Zantac cancer lawsuits.

Zantac Cancer Risk

Zantac (ranitidine) was introduced to the U.S. market in the 1980’s, and in the years that followed, it became a top-selling heartburn medication, used by millions of people suffering from heartburn, acid reflux, acid indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other stomach and throat problems. However, during the past year, all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) versions of ranitidine (Zantac) have been recalled due to concerns about toxic exposure to N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance. Last September, an independent pharmacy petitioned for a Zantac recall after finding “extremely high levels of N-Nitrososdimethylamine (‘NDMA’), a probable human carcinogen, in every lot tested, across multiple manufacturers and dosage forms of the drug ranitidine.” In April 2020, the FDA requested the immediate removal of all ranitidine (Zantac) products from the market after discovering that NDMA in some ranitidine products “increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity.”

What is NDMA?

NDMA is a nitrosamine impurity that has been linked to a number of different types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer and kidney cancer. NDMA is found at low levels in numerous products that humans consume regularly, including fish, beer, tobacco smoke and cured meat, and exposure at low levels isn’t expected to cause harm when ingested. However, a number of pharmaceutical drugs have been found to contain higher than expected levels of NDMA and many of these drugs have since been recalled by the FDA, including Zantac. According to the FDA, “Nitrosamine impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them at above acceptable levels over long periods of time,” which means longtime Zantac users may be at risk for cancer.  

Zantac Makers Accused of Failure to Warn

According to Darlene Bowers’ Zantac wrongful death suit, Jerry Bowers took Zantac OTC for approximately two years before his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2018, unaware that the medication posed a potential health risk. “During the time that Defendants manufactured and sold over-the-counter Zantac in the United States, the weight of scientific evidence showed that Zantac exposed users to unsafe levels of NDMA,” the Zantac lawsuit states. “At no time did any Defendant ever disclose this risk to consumers on the drug’s label, or through any other means, nor did Defendants report these risks to the FDA.” The wrongful death lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Bowers never would have taken the medication if the makers of Zantac had disclosed the potential link between the heartburn drug and cancer to users and the medical community.

Learn More About Filing a Zantac Injury Claim

Similar allegations have been raised in a growing number of product liability lawsuits filed on behalf of Zantac users who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and other types of cancer after using the drug for years to combat heartburn, acid reflux, GERD and other conditions. Given common questions of fact and law, the Zantac lawsuits have been centralized for coordinated pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg in the Southern District of Florida. For more information about pursuing compensation for losses related to alleged Zantac side effects, contact our consumer advocates at Consumer Justice Foundation today. Drug manufacturing companies are responsible for the safety of their medications and should be held accountable for any injuries users suffer from dangerous or defective drug products. With a reputable Zantac injury attorney on your side, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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