The Zantac settlements are expected to be sizable if plaintiffs' attorneys can show that the heartburn drug caused their cancer. Since Zantac (ranitidine) is both a prescription and over-the-counter drug, there are hundreds of thousands of potential plaintiffs.
As with all "dangerous drug" litigation, the lawsuits against the Zantac manufacturers will take time. But throughout the process, plaintiffs' attorneys will be fighting for settlements to cover all medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In this article, our Zantac lawyers discuss:
- 1. When will the Zantac lawsuits settle?
- 2. How are settlements negotiated?
- 3. Are the lawsuits separate or a class action?
- 4. How much of the settlement do attorneys get?
- 5. What if I do not agree to the settlement?
Settlements in the ranitidine lawsuits are not expected for at least a couple of years. The recalls began only in 2019. Litigation has just started. And on April 1, 2020, the FDA requested that manufacturers withdraw their ranitidine products.
Plaintiffs' attorneys understand that time is of the essence for cancer victims and their families. And no self-respecting lawyer charges dangerous drug victims any legal fees until there is a settlement. That serves as a further incentive for plaintiffs' attorneys to work as quickly as possible.
Mass tort cases such as Zantac resolve through either:
- Global (or matrix) settlements; or
- Inventory settlements
2.1. Global (matrix) settlements
Like it sounds, a global settlement is a dollar amount that covers all the outstanding claims. (In the Zantac litigation, there may very well be tens of thousands of claims.) There is also a "matrix" of criteria to decide which plaintiff gets how much.
For instance, stage 1 cancer patients who get cured may receive less than stage 4 cancer patients who are terminal. And people who had one surgery may receive less than people who had multiple surgeries.
Ultimately, it is up to each plaintiff to accept or reject the settlement.
2.2. Inventory settlements
With inventory settlements, plaintiffs' law firms evaluate their cases individually. (Most plaintiffs' firms have multiple Zantac clients.)
Each plaintiff agrees to an acceptable settlement amount. Then the plaintiffs' firm adds together each client's acceptable minimum. This is called the aggregate minimum.
Ultimately, the defense attorneys offer each plaintiffs' firm a settlement to cover all its clients. If a plaintiffs' firm scores a larger settlement than the aggregate minimum, each client will get a percentage of the extra money.
Each plaintiff's lawsuit is separate. But to streamline litigation, all the lawsuits combine into an MDL (multi-district litigation).
In an MDL, there is one judge who presides over every case during the pretrial stages. Then a few cases go to trial. The results of these bellwether trials are critical. They determine if there will be settlements, and for how much.
MDLs are different from class actions. In class actions, every member of the class gets the same settlement amount. In MDLs, each plaintiff gets a separate amount based on his/her own case.
At this time, there is one Zantac MDL. It is out of the Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach). The MDL ID number is 2924. Judge Robin L. Rosenberg is presiding.
The standard legal fee for plaintiffs' attorneys is 40% plus expenses. (In mass tort cases like Zantac with thousands of plaintiffs, "expenses" tend to be minimal.)
So if a plaintiff gets a $100,000 settlement, the plaintiff can expect to receive close to $60,000 (60% of the total).
An attorney's retainer agreement spells out all the terms of the legal fee. People are advised to never hire an attorney who charges a fee upfront. People are also advised to never hire an attorney who charges a fee if he/she loses the case.
Plaintiffs who do not agree to any settlement offer may take the case to trial. But there is no guarantee the plaintiff will win. And if the plaintiff does win, there is no guarantee the court will award more than the settlement amount.
Zantac plaintiffs can discuss with their attorneys whether a settlement is fair or not and their chances of success at trial. No plaintiff should ever feel pressured to accept a settlement.
Are you a Zantac victim? Contact us for help...
Diagnosed with cancer after taking Zantac? We are so sorry. We want to help.
Phone our Zantac lawsuit attorneys at (877) 504-7750. Or fill out the form on this page. We give free consultations 24/7. There is a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, so act quickly.
We are determined to fight for the biggest settlement available in your case. And we take no money unless we win.