The first federal bellwether Zantac trials are expected to begin in 2023, but the first lawsuits to be litigated are expected to occur earlier at the state level in California, KHTS reports. 

The first official Zantac trial is set for October 10, 2022, in the Alameda County Superior Court, to be presided over by Judge Evelio Grillo. 

More than 150,000 people have filed injury claims against manufacturers of Zantac, including Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim. Zantac was recalled from the marketplace in 2020 after testing by the FDA and the independent pharmacy, Valisure, detected NDMA, a potentially cancer-causing contaminant in the drug. 

Defendants of these lawsuits are accused of failing to warn users about the possible breakdown of ranitidine into NDMA and the compound’s associated increased risk of cancer.

In October 2021, U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg ruled that brand-name Zantac lawsuits filed at the federal level can proceed. Under Judge Rosenberg, more than 2,000 Zantac cases have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Florida. 

California’s version of the MDL process is known as the Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings, or JCCP. In both the federal MDL and California JCCP, the lawsuits are consolidated as one issue rather than having each individual case addressed as a separate trial matter. 

Plaintiffs who have developed either bladder, liver, pancreatic, stomach or esophageal cancer after taking Zantac are still eligible to file a lawsuit.

Generic Zantac, also known as ranitidine, will not be covered in either the MDL or the California JCCP. Only brand name Zantac claims are being considered. Generic makers of Zantac, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, were cleared of liability in 2021 when Judge Rosenberg ruled that federal law prevented them from facing litigation.