A judge has issued a pretrial order that includes a schedule for the first four Zantac (ranitidine) bellwether trials in California. The order was issued by the judge overseeing the Zantac Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCP), Evelio M. Grillo. Filed on June 21, Judge Grillo’s order sets the first trial date for Feb. 13, 2023 in Oakland. 

Thousands of consumers have filed Zantac lawsuits claiming that the drug manufacturers Sanofi, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and GlaxoSmithKline failed to issue warnings about Zantac breaking down into the carcinogenic compound N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Zantac plaintiffs claim that they were unknowingly exposed to unsafe levels of NDMA, which caused them to develop cancer. The plaintiffs also claim that Zantac makers were aware of the link between NDMA in the stomach-acid-blocking drug and cancer as early as the 1980s.

On April 1, 2020, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requested that manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs from the market. This followed independent laboratory testing by Valisure and subsequent testing by the FDA that determined that recalled lots of branded Zantac and its generic equivalent (ranitidine) had as much as nine times higher the acceptable amount of NDMA, a substance that is also in the food supply and drinking water. 

The levels of NDMA in Zantac increase over time, especially when the drug is stored at higher than room temperature. 

The second California Zantac bellwether trial is slated for May 1, 2023; the third on Aug. 7, 2023, and the fourth one is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2023. 

On Jan. 25, 2023, both plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys will present their evidence and expert witnesses to the court. The deadline for depositions of medical causation-related healthcare providers for the four bellwether cases was June 20, 2022. The final pretrial conference for the first bellwether trial will be held on Feb. 3, 2023.