Phillips Law Firm files the first Granuflo/NaturaLyte cases in California
The Phillips Law Firm has filed numerous cases against Fresenius on behalf of victims seriously injured or killed by Fresenius’s Granuflo product. In March 2013, the firm filed a special motion asking the California Judicial Council to coordinate the California state court lawsuits and place them before the Los Angeles Superior Court for unified management and trial. The Judicial Council granted the motion and consolidated the cases in L.A. Superior Court. It appointed L.A. Superior Court Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon as the coordination and trial judge. This consolidated action is called a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP).
Judge Lee Smalley Edmon is the first female ever appointed Presiding Judge of Los Angeles Superior Court. She was appointed in 2011.
In addition to the California JCCP, almost 200 cases against Fresenius have been consolidated before the Federal District Court in Massachusetts. This multi-district litigation, called an MDL, is assigned to the Honorable Douglas Woodlock.
In addition to the MDL in the Massachusetts federal court and the JCCP in California, there is also a coordinated proceeding in the Massachusetts state courts.
Fresenius Medical Care is the largest manufacturer of dialysis products and owns thousands of dialysis clinics in the United States and throughout the world. The Fresenius litigation stems from products it manufactures and distributes called Granuflo (a powdered acid concentrate) and NaturaLyte (a liquid acid concentrate). These solutions are used during hemodialysis. The lawsuits against Fresenius allege that these products can dangerously increase a dialysis patient’s bicarbonate levels, causing hypokalemia, hypoxemia, hypercapnia, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, and sometimes death, while the patient is undergoing dialysis or shortly thereafter
According to attorneys representing the victims, for almost a decade, Fresenius knew, or should have known, that these products presented a dangerous risk to dialysis patients, and either failed to properly warn the dialysis clinics, or worse, intentionally withheld this information from the clinics utilizing the solutions, leading to unnecessary injuries and deaths.
The FDA issued its Class One recall of Granuflo and NaturaLyte on March 29, 2012, after an internal Fresenius memo outlining the dangers of these products was leaked to the FDA. The leaked Fresenius memo documented that in 2010 alone, 941Fresenius clinic dialysis patients receiving dialysis in which Granuflo was used suffered cardiac arrest.
According to the FDA’s website, “Class I recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”