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Lawsuit Claims Zantac Use Led To Florida Man’s Tonsil Cancer Diagnosis

Lawsuit Claims Zantac Use Led To Florida Man's Tonsil Cancer Diagnosis

A lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida on October 9 claims that a Florida man developed tonsil cancer which necessitated two surgeries “as a direct and proximate result of ingesting Zantac.” The lawsuit names Sanofi and Boehringer as defendants.

The complaint claims that the man ingested Zantac (ranitidine) four to five times per week on average from 1997 through 2009, developed tonsil cancer and underwent surgeries in 2009 and in 2018 for cancer removal.

Lawsuit Claims Zantac Manufacturers Knew Or Should Have Known Of Zantac’s Cancer Risks

The lawsuit states that the “defendants did not disclose to consumers that Zantac exposes users to high levels of the carcinogen NDMA, despite scientific studies alerting” them to the fact.

The complaint cites studies from 1982 and 1983 which found evidence that ranitidine, when combined with nitrite, could possibly cause cancer in rats by producing DNA fragmentation.

The lawsuit notes that a 2011 study observing eight pharmaceuticals found that ranitidine “showed the strongest potential to form” NDMA when in drinking water during chloramine disinfection. The complaint also notes that another 2011 scientific article found that ranitidine is “an important NDMA precursor.”

The complaint states that a 2014 scientific article noted that Zantac and other drugs had “recently caused much concern because they are potent NDMA precursors.”

The lawsuit says a 2016 peer-reviewed study “confirmed the production of [NDMA], a potent carcinogen, by nitrosation of ranitidine under stomach-relevant pH conditions in vitro.” This study found that healthy men and women who took 150 mg tablets of Zantac “produced roughly 400 times elevated amounts of NDMA in their urine (over 40,000 nanograms) in the proceeding 24 hours.”

“Despite the undeniable scientific evidence linking ranitidine to the production of high levels of NDMA, Defendants did not disclose this link to consumers on Zantac’s label or through any other means,” the lawsuit states, adding that the defendants “continued to represent that their ranitidine products… had been tested and were found to be safe.”

The complaint states that the Florida man would have never used Zantac had the defendants adequately warned him about the cancer risks they knew or should have own were associated with Zantac.

The complaint describes the failure to warn the public about Zantac’s cancer risks as a sign of “a callous, reckless, willful, depraved indifference to health, safety and welfare.”

Zantac Lawsuit Damages

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages based on numerous counts, including:

  • Strict liability – failure to warn
  • Strict liability – design defect
  • Negligence
  • Breach of express warranty
  • Breach of implied warranty
  • Negligent misrepresentation


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