Multiple consumers of Zantac, a popular heartburn relief medication, have filed claims against the drug manufacturers claiming use of the medication led to the development of cancer. In February, The Judicial Panel for Multi District Litigation assigned all of the cases across the country to Judge Rosenberg in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Palm Beach.
Multidistrict litgation (MDL) is different from class action lawsuits. There are many differences between the two types of lawsuits, but basically, class action lawsuits involve a single claim filed by several people, while MDLs involve multiple, separate claims. As a result, victims in a class action lawsuit generally receive similar settlements while those in an MDL are likely to receive settlements that vary based on the details of their injuries.
How does multidistrict litigation help victims who took Zantac?
Having multiple plaintiffs can be beneficial for those who are suffering from using Zantac. This is because it allows victims to work together, essentially pooling their resources in the lawsuit against those responsible for their illnesses. The same evidence may be usable for all of the claims, saving victims time and money.
In these cases, the victims all claim a similar set of facts. They took medication containing N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing ingredient. NDMA caused their liver, bladder or other forms of cancer. They claim those responsible for making and selling the drugs were aware of the danger yet continued to sell the products. A report from the United States Food and Drug Administration supports this claim, confirming the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in the medications.
Other who were harmed by Zantac can still file claims
MDL allows courts to more efficiently process a large number of cases that share similar claims. Also, the MDL process allows more victims (plaintiffs) to file lawsuits for similar claims.
Just because these cases are already in court, it is not too late for other victims. Those haven’t filed claims can still do so and help hold the drug companies accountable for their action.