The attorneys representing 40 different Zantac users with cancer are urging the court to consolidate their cases in California. The plaintiffs allege that Sanofi-Aventis US LLC, Pfizer Inc. and other pharmaceutical companies hid the risks of heartburn drug Zantac.
The plaintiffs in the 40 cases filed a petition to have their suits linked in a judicial council coordinated proceeding to consolidate pretrial and trial phases of the cases, which they said would work alongside the existing Zantac multidistrict litigation in Florida.
“Coordinating these two important proceedings is the first step in putting pressure on these defendants to come to the negotiating table and do right by our clients.” Jennifer A. Moore, a representative for the plaintiffs said.
Plaintiffs in the complaints include the mother of an 8-year-old boy who alleges that her use of Zantac while pregnant resulted in her son developing testicular cancer. Other complaints allege the drug also resulted in bladder, kidney, prostate, and thyroid cancer.
Despite knowing the risks associated with taking Zantac, the companies failed to warn its user and advertised the product as medication to take while eating the very foods that would cause that carcinogen, according to the suits.
Furthermore, the lawsuits claim that GlaxoSmithKline LLC, which first created Zantac in the 1970s, worked to discredit studies in the 1980s that showed the drug’s hazardous potential.
A spokesperson for GSK said the company could not comment on the specifics of the litigation, but that they take the issue very seriously as patient safety is their utmost priority.