On February 20, 2020, Theodore J. Leopold, Co-Chair of Cohen Milstein’s Complex Tort Litigation and Consumer Protection practices, Poorad Razavi, and Diana L. Martin filed a false advertising, medical monitoring, and personal injury class action against Pfizer, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, and other pharmaceutical companies on behalf of multiple plaintiffs and putative class members across the United States who, as a result of taking Zantac (ranitidine), have been afflicted with cancer or are now subject to an increased risk of developing cancer. 

Case Background

Millions of Americans take Zantac or generic versions of the drug ranitidine for treatment of heartburn and acid reflux. While drug makers marketed it as safe and effective, recent evidence suggests that the drug contains unsafe levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, the World Health Organization, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants —companies involved in the manufacture, distribution, marketing, and sale of Zantac—knew or should have known of the harms posed by NDMA, and that Zantac is prone to create NDMA in the human body. Despite the mounting evidence linking Zantac to NDMA and to cancer, Defendants continued to manufacture, distribute, market, and sell Zantac and other ranitidine medications to the general population. Moreover, Defendants continued to advertise Zantac as safe and effective, and they failed to disclose its risk.

Plaintiffs further allege that they have been harmed as a result of Defendants’ actions. Among other harms, each Plaintiff is now afflicted with cancer or has been subjected to an increased risk of developing cancer as a result of Defendants’ actions.

Cancers that may be associated with taking Zantac, include: bladder cancer, stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, uterine cancer and kidney cancer.

The case name is: Bernardo, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., et al., Case No. 9:20-cv-80249-RLR (S.D. Fla.).