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GranuFlo Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Louisiana

The children of Herese M. Patton filed a lawsuit in Louisiana on April 23, 2013 against Fresenius Medical Care, alleging that their mother died as a result of using their unreasonably dangerous dialysis products GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. The family’s dialysis injury lawyer alleges in the suit that Fresenius knew about the risks their products posed to patients, but concealed that knowledge in order to turn a profit.

Dangerous dialysis drugs

GranuFlo and NaturaLyte are dialysis products, used to filter the blood of patients suffering from kidney failure and replenish the blood’s nutrients and chemical balance. According to the GranuFlo wrongful death lawsuit, GranuFlo and NaturaLyte differ from other dialysis products in that they use a chemical formulation that results in twice as much blood acetate as other products. High blood acetate causes a significantly increased risk of a condition called alkalosis, which is known to cause potentially fatal heart problems.

GranuFlo and NaturaLyte were approved by the FDA in 2003, and recalled in 2012. During that time, thousands of patients were exposed to the product’s dangers. The suit alleges that Fresenius executives knew of these dangers in 2003, when the products were released, but did not disclose the risks until an internal memo dated November 2011 instructed doctors at Fresenius clinics to commence special monitoring procedures to mitigate the risks from the products. The suit claims this memo reflects long-held knowledge of the product’s dangers, and that even after the memo was released, Fresenius did not share its information with non-Fresenius doctors or clinics or with the general public.

Heart attack claims mother of five

Herese M. Patton began dialysis at a Fresenius medical center in February 2011. While on dialysis, Patton suffered a cardiac event and stopped breathing. She was taken to a hospital where she died of a heart attack just hours later. Her five children retained a dialysis injury lawyer in order to seek compensation and punitive damages after they discovered that GranuFlo and NaturaLyte were the cause of their mother’s death, along with hundreds or even thousands of other deaths.

Their GranuFlo wrongful death lawsuit has been transferred to the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, where there are currently 161 complaints pending against Fresenius, each making the same or similar factual allegations. The suit alleges wrongful conduct by Fresenius in the form of wrongful death, defective design, failure to warn, negligence, fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment, and breach of warranties.

The suit further claims that this conduct was reckless, showing conscious disregard for the life, safety, or rights of patients like Herese M. Patton.

GranuFlo wrongful death lawsuit seeks restitution

The plaintiffs have asked the court for relief, on behalf of Patton’s estate, in the form of compensatory damages to cover the medical expenses, burial expenses, past and future lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and wrongful death incurred by Patton. They also seek compensation for their own pain and future emotional distress, for the value of lost companionship, protection, services, and support their mother would have provided, for their mental pain and suffering, and for the attorney’s fees and legal costs they have incurred in pursuing their complaint, with interest.

Finally, they seek restitution from Fresenius in the form of disgorgement of profits, punitive damages, and any additional or further relief that they may be entitled to.