Will the mass tort cases against Fresenius–the manufacturer of dialysis products, NaturaLyte and GranuFlo–succeed or fail?
All told, plaintiffs have launched more than three dozen “Failure to Warn” lawsuits against the nation’s biggest supplier of dialysis products and machines. The legal sturm und drang has to do with whether these two products (GranuFlo and Naturalyte) increased patients’ risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death by elevating their bicarbonate levels.
In late 2011, doctors on Fresenius’s staff worried about “troubling findings”–nearly 100 patients had suffered cardiac events, according to internal records. These patients all had hugely elevated bicarbonate levels relative to patients who tolerated the drugs better. Despite the internal handwringing and worrying, Fresenius did not warn the public.
Experts believe that around 125,000 dialysis patients got treated with GranuFlo and NaturaLyte at non-Fresenius clinics–in addition to the hundreds of thousands people who got treated at the company’s clinics.
In a January 3rd petition filed with the United States Judicial Panel, the lawyers for the dialysis company came out with fighting words: “the plaintiffs’ claims will fail on their merits because the plaintiffs cannot show that Fresenius’s products are unreasonably dangerous or that Fresenius failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions to the intermediaries who used GranuFlo and NaturaLyte to treat dialysis patients.”
On some level, it’s not surprising that the company is behaving so combatively. On the other hand, it’s disappointing.
We all have a need to be consistent. A company that prides itself on creating products to help people certainly might balk at the implication that its services caused more harm than good. Nevertheless, it’s really too bad that Fresenius–and other companies like it–don’t behave in a more compassionate and humanistic fashion.
Unfortunately, that’s just the way life is sometime.
Call the DeMayo Law team today at (877) 333-1000 for insight about your potential case.