Heartburn is a common condition that occurs when stomach acid enters the esophagus, causing a painful burning sensation and other unpleasant symptoms. Many American patients took prescription and over-the-counter Zantac to treat this condition—until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled the medication in April 2020.
Zantac, which also goes by the generic name ranitidine, may contain dangerous levels of the carcinogenic chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Many former Zantac patients have developed cancer after taking the medication, including colorectal cancer. Now, patients are holding Zantac’s manufacturer accountable for their injuries through lawsuits—and if you believe you may qualify for this litigation, Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC can help.
Why You Should Choose Our Attorneys
- Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC represents Zantac patients nationwide in their colorectal cancer lawsuits. We will partner with leading personal injury and mass tort firms to provide comprehensive representation.
- With over 20 years of litigation experience, our results speak for themselves. Our firm has helped thousands of people receive the compensation they deserve.
- We believe in open, responsive communication between us and our clients. When you call or email for a free consultation, we will respond within 24 hours.
What Is Colorectal Cancer?
The colon and the rectum are part of the large intestine, and colorectal cancer occurs when tumors form in the lining of the large intestine. Colorectal cancer can refer to colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where these tumors develop. Doctors often group these conditions together due to similar symptoms and features.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include the following.
- A change in bowel habits that last for more than a few days, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool
- Feeling that you cannot completely empty your bowels, even after a bowel movement
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Blood in the stool, which may cause the stool to look dark brown or black
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Colorectal cancer is a serious condition. Localized colorectal cancer discovered in the early stages of the condition has a 5-year relative survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society. However, the further the disease spreads, the lower the survival rate—patients with regional spread of colorectal cancer have a 71% 5-year survival rate, while patients with a distant spread have a 14% 5-year survival rate.
Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the severity of the disease and where it has spread in the body. Early-stage local treatments may include surgery, as well as certain medications. In later stages, patients may need to undergo chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. If you receive a colorectal cancer diagnosis, your doctor will explain the treatments you will require based on your condition.
How Does Zantac Cause Colorectal Cancer?
NDMA is a probable human carcinogen primarily used for research purposes. Commercial manufacturers of rocket fuel ceased NDMA use in its plants after researchers discovered unusually high levels of the chemical in the air, water, and soil surrounding these facilities. In 2019, the pharmaceutical company Valisure discovered that some batches of ranitidine—the generic name for Zantac—contained traces of NDMA, prompting an FDA investigation.
The FDA’s investigation revealed that NDMA contamination in Zantac may increase over time. The agency also discovered that the impurity may also increase if the drug is stored at higher than room temperature. However, the FDA also states that it witnessed NDMA impurities increase even under normal storage conditions, highlighting the volatile nature of the contamination. As a result, the agency ordered the recall of all prescription and over-the-counter Zantac and ranitidine products.
Legal Options for Zantac Patients
If you received a colorectal cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a lawsuit against Sanofi. Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe to use and to warn patients of possible risks. Since Sanofi failed to ensure Zantac was safe and did not inform patients and physicians of the NDMA contamination, the company may be liable for your cancer-related damages.
Unlike other civil lawsuits, you do not need to prove that Sanofi’s negligence caused your cancer diagnosis. States hold drug manufacturers to the standard of strict liability, or a standard of liability that does not depend on the presence of negligence or the intent to harm another person. Instead, you will simply need to prove that you suffered an injury due to the product in question, as long as you used the product in the way that the manufacturer intended you to.
To secure compensation in a Zantac lawsuit, you will need to establish three elements of strict liability.
- First, you will need to prove that the medication was defective. In Zantac claims, patients often allege that Sanofi failed to warn patients of the potential defect or that the design of Zantac, primed for NDMA contamination, was inherently defective.
- Second, you will need to prove that the medication directly caused your colorectal cancer diagnosis. Your attorney can contact expert witnesses who can provide scientific evidence and testimony on your behalf to prove your claims. You will also need to provide key pieces of evidence such as medical records and written prescriptions.
- Finally, you will need to prove that you suffered damages as a result of your cancer that you can collect in your lawsuit. You can collect compensation for the financial losses you suffered due to the cancer, as well as the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured.
Contact Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC Today
Colorectal cancer is a painful condition that requires significant medical care. Depending on the extent of the disease, you may need to take weeks or months off work, pay thousands in medical expenses that your insurance does not cover, and suffer from physical and emotional trauma. If Zantac is the cause of your colorectal cancer, you deserve justice—and Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC can help.
Our attorneys represent injured Zantac patients nationwide in their claims against Sanofi. We will evaluate your condition to determine if you are eligible for litigation, which damages you may qualify for, and the steps necessary to secure maximum compensation in your lawsuit.
Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC offers free case consultations with our Zantac colorectal cancer attorneys. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and discuss your legal options.