Zantac Defendant Files Key Procedural Motion

| Dec 8, 2020 | Products Liability

Generic ranitidine manufactures asked a U.S. district judge in Florida to dismiss the claims against it because the plaintiffs had not alleged an actionable injury.

Most Zantac claimants took the drug and developed cancer. But the increased risk is dangerous as well. Because the company subjected them to this risk, these plaintiffs state, they must submit to enhanced medical monitoring and other constraints. Furthermore, they have no peace of mind because they are worried about their medical futures. The defendants claim such injury is not legally sufficient.

In an opposition brief, the plaintiffs said the defendant’s motion was “startling” and lacked any legitimacy.

Procedural Motions in Federal Court

If your kids bake Christmas goodies, they often set off the smoke alarm. However, there is usually no need to panic, especially if you are on top of the situation. Likewise, defendants routinely file procedural motions in federal court which seek to throw the victim/plaintiff’s case out of court. However, as long as your Lexington personal injury attorney is fully prepared, there is normally no need to panic. These motions almost never succeed.

Laying the groundwork before the smoke alarm goes off and knowing what to do when it goes off are the two keys to preventing a kitchen disaster. Likewise, diligent evidence collection before the defendant files motions and a thoughtful response thereafter are the keys to defeating these motions.

Essentially, these motions claim that there is so little evidence in support of the victim/plaintiff’s claims that no reasonable jurors could find against the defendant. Sufficient evidence, like witness depositions, scholarly studies, and medical examinations, therefore blunt these motions. Additionally, some motions claim there is no plausible claim under Kentucky law. But there is an old saying among attorneys that where there is a wrong, there is also a remedy. So, attorneys must simply do their homework and draw on their experience in order to find the appropriate legal pathway.

Nuts and Bolts of a Zantac Claim

Evidence and legal arguments are the nuts and bolts of a Zantac claim. A solidly-constructed case is almost always strong enough to withstand judicial pretrial scrutiny.

A quick word here. Although they are not a very big deal in most of the world, jury trials are incredibly important in America. Over 90 percent of the world’s jury trials occur in the United States.

The factual basis of a Zantac claim is usually the connection between ranitidine, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and cancer. NDMA is one of the most dangerous carcinogens in the world. That fact is well-established. So, most of the evidence in these claims involves the Zantac-NDMA connection.

N-nitrosodimethylamine is often a by-product of the manufacturing or purification process. This chemical is common in things like cured meat and drinking water. Zantac is a bit different. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is a correlation between storage times and NDMA contamination. And, Zantac is usually stored at room temperature for extended periods of time. It might sit on a store shelf for several weeks before it goes to a person’s medicine cabinet, where it might sit for several months.

Legally, Zantac claims usually involve a product defect or a failure to warn. That product defect is usually a manufacturing defect. Drug makers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe not only on the drawing board, but also when they reach a consumer’s hands. 

The failure to warn usually involves a cover-up. Among today’s powerful drugs, serious side-effects are rare, but rather common. Nevertheless, many drug makers refuse to disclose these risks. They are afraid such news would suppress sales. And, given the enormous cost of bringing a new drug to market, manufacturers must sell as much product as possible.

Because of the high duty in manufacturing defect claims, and the cover-up in many failure to warn claims, damages in dangerous drug matters are usually quite high. Juries must be allowed to award substantial punitive damages if the evidence warrants them. Money is the only language these companies speak. Unless an injury claim includes a substantial financial penalty, companies will not change the way they do business, and more people could get hurt.

If the evidentiary and legal foundations are strong enough, most dangerous drug claims settle out of court. However, that’s not always the case. Many drug makers take at least a few claims to trial to test the will of various plaintiffs. Additionally, some companies have an image to protect. Johnson & Johnson is a good example. Talcum powder sales account for only a tiny percentage of the company’s income. Yet its lawyers often fight ovarian cancer/talcum powder claims tooth and nail. J&J wants to protect its image as “a family company.”

Zantac and other dangerous drugs often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.