Sanofi Reportedly Destroyed Emails Related to Zantac Safety Recall
In recent court filings, the plaintiffs allege Sanofi destroyed emails regarding a 2019 recall of Zantac, a popular heartburn medication. Zantac was used to treat a variety of conditions in addition to heartburn, including GERD, acid reflux, and ulcers.
The emails include emails from Michael Bailey, the head of regulatory affairs for Sanofi’s U.S. Consumer Healthcare Division.
Attorneys for more than 70,000 plaintiffs claim that it will now be more difficult to prove their case. They needed the emails to prove that the companies knowingly allowed drugs that contained a suspected carcinogen to be sold to consumers.
Sanofi has been instructed to deliver a report to the judge regarding the destruction of the emails. It is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.
According to a spokesperson for Sanofi, there was no intentional destruction of documents. The company had already provided thousands of pages of documents during discovery. The company voluntarily disclosed that the requested emails had not been preserved. Supposedly, the company is attempting to obtain the data from alternative sources.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that the deleted emails caused the postponement or delay in many of the depositions of Sanofi personnel. The attorneys requested more time to prepare for the first trial, which is scheduled to begin next year.
Potential Carcinogen Found in Zantac
Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, GlaxoSmithKline, PLC, 33 generic drug makers, four distributors, and 25 retailers are named as defendants in the Zantac lawsuits. The lawsuits allege that the defendants failed to disclose the health risks associated with taking the drug.
The US Food and Drug Administration found dangerous levels of a known carcinogen (NDMA) in the medication in 2018. As a result, the medications were removed from the market. In testing the medication, it was discovered that a single dose of Zantac had over three million nanograms of NDMA. The maximum daily intake of NDMA should be no more than 96 nanograms.
Some patients have developed cancer after taking the heartburn medication. Taking Zantac has been linked with an increase in the risk of developing cancer, including but not limited to:
- Stomach cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Small intestine cancer
Other symptoms associated with NDMA exposure include:
- Reduced function of the lungs, liver, and kidneys
- Tumors in the lungs, liver, and kidneys
- Liver scarring and fibrosis
- Enlarged liver
- Abdominal cramps
Individuals who took Zantac or the generic forms of ranitidine accuse the manufacturers and other parties of negligence and intentional wrongdoing. By allowing people to be exposed to unsafe levels of NDMA, the companies harmed the patients. The companies failed to warn patients about a risk they knew or should have known about when they marketed and sold the drug.
Damages Available for Zantac Lawsuits
The types of damages victims might receive depend on the facts of their individual cases.
However, many plaintiffs are entitled to recover compensation for their:
- Medical bills and cost of treatment for cancer and other injuries caused by ingesting unsafe levels of NDMA
- Loss of past, present, and future earnings and benefits
- Decreased earning potential because of permanent impairments
- The cost of personal care and help with household chores
- Decreased quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering damages related to the physical injuries, emotional distress, and mental trauma
- Other out-of-pocket financial losses and expenses
Individuals may also be entitled to additional damages. An attorney can review your claim and advise you regarding the payment of damages and the value of your injury claim.
Do I Need an Attorney to file a Zantac Claim?
The Zantac MDL is being administered through the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida. Judge Robin Rosenberg has been assigned to the case. Individuals have a set time to file claims for Zantac injuries. Therefore, it is best to speak to a Zantac lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss your deadline.
Even though the thousands of cases have been combined into an MDL, the plaintiffs’ attorneys have petitioned the court to create two class actions. One class action will be for individuals who took Zantac but who have not been diagnosed with cancer. The second class is for people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
If you took Zantac and have developed cancer or you have questions about the Zantac lawsuit, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. The case is extremely complex. However, an experienced Zantac lawyer can help you understand the matter and decide what step to take next to protect your legal right.