Recently, scientists discovered some troubling news about Zantac, the heartburn medication. You might have used Zantac in the past since it was very popular up until recently. You may also have seen the TV commercials for it.
The scientists found that Zantac contains dangerous carcinogens. Carcinogens are chemicals, and they’re cancer-causing agents when humans consume them.
The FDA issued a recall for Zantac and its various generic versions. They said that companies had to discontinue making any similar drugs that contained ranitidine before anyone else took them. Since this recall, the company that made Zantac and similar products has faced a predictable flood of lawsuits.
This was the perfect situation for a mass tort lawsuit. You might not understand that term if you’re not a lawyer, but it’s worth knowing about them. Let’s talk about what mass tort lawsuits are, when they’re appropriate, and when you can join one.
What Does Mass Tort Mean?
If you want to know about mass tort lawsuits, the first and most important thing to understand is that they come about when you have a company that commits wrongful actions or decisions. This decision or action can harm many individuals rather than a single one or a relatively small group.
These victims, collectively, can bring a mass tort claim rather than seeking individual compensation. It’s not dissimilar to a class action lawsuit, another legal term about which you might have heard.
In both instances, the participants bring a claim against an individual or business, but it’s usually a company. They seek damages resulting from an action or decision that the business made. In this case, that decision would be allowing a drug to hit the market containing carcinogens like ranitidine.
What Might Happen to a Zantac User?
If you used Zantac a couple of times, you probably don’t need to worry about anything. However, many people used it regularly since the company marketed it heavily and didn’t talk about any potential side effects, or at least only the mild ones.
If you were one of these individuals, then you might have developed prostate or pancreatic cancer. Lung, kidney, or colorectal cancer were also possible. Some people developed breast, liver, or stomach cancer as well.
Is it possible to develop one of these cancers without ingesting Zantac or a similar drug over the years? Definitely. However, if you used it regularly and developed one of these cancer forms, one likely had something to do with the other.
How Can You Establish that You Ingested the Drug?
If you ingested the drug over time, you likely spoke to your doctor about it. Your doctor can report on your behalf, stating that they knew you were taking the drug. Other family members can also attest to your taking it.
Testing should also reveal trace carcinogen amounts in your body. The particular carcinogens from Zantac and the generic versions should be easy to identify through a basic metabolic panel.
How Can You Join a Mass Tort Lawsuit?
If you can establish that you ingested the drug and it caused you to develop cancer, then you can hire a lawyer. That lawyer can look into the mass tort case that’s happening and make sure that it includes you.
You probably shouldn’t try to become a part of the mass tort suit on your own because you’re not going to have the necessary legal expertise to know what to do. These situations can quickly become extremely complicated. If you don’t have an experienced attorney aiding you, you’re not likely to be able to figure out the best strategy to employ.
What Happens if You Win?
If you can win your mass tort case, then you can get back significant money if the court finds against the pharmaceutical company that came out with the dangerous product. That seems likely, since the company did extensive research before coming out with the drug, and they deemed that it was safe for the public to consume it.
If you win, you’ll have to pay your lawyer, but you’ll still come away with a chunk of money that should come in handy. You can use it to pay for things like medical expenses you incurred because of your cancer. You might use it to make up for any lost income or wages that you couldn’t earn because of your cancer as well.
You can also get money because of your pain and suffering. It’s not an exaggeration to say that if you develop cancer, it might cause you some excruciating pain. That doesn’t even cover the mental anguish with which you and your family members must deal. You should receive just financial compensation for all of that.
How Rare Are Mass Tort Cases?
Since Zantac was such a popular drug for so many years, it makes sense that this mass tort case should be big news. The eventual settlement could be many millions of dollars depending on how many people join in.
Mass tort cases are not that unusual, though, and you might have one for many reasons. For instance, you might see one if a company causes a large-scale environmental disaster like an oil spill or a chemical leak. That can impact many people, so they might band together and try a mass tort lawsuit.
Lead poisoning can lead to one, as can consumer fraud or defective medical products. Basically, any time a company’s decision-making led to widespread harm, you might join together and start up a mass tort filing.
If you developed cancer after Zantac use, make sure to hire a competent lawyer and get them to look into this lawsuit as it develops. You don’t want to miss out on the monetary settlement, especially if you’re paying for many medical expenses out of pocket right now.
You should also make sure as a consumer to check the FDA’s recall list often. That might be the first place you learn that a drug or product is not safe to use.