GranuFlo Lawsuits Filed in Federal and California State Court
Federal laws require prescription drug manufacturers to warn patients and doctors of the potential side effects associated with their products. When drug manufacturers fail to do so, patients are unable to make informed healthcare decisions. Because Fresenius failed to warn patients about the increased risk of cardiac arrest associated with GranuFlo, the company may be held legally accountable when the use of GranuFlo causes injury to patients.
Girard Gibbs has filed lawsuits on behalf of people who were injured or lost a loved one after being administered GranuFlo. These lawsuits allege that Fresenius violated its legal obligation to inform doctors and patients of the risks of cardiac arrest and alkalosis associated with its product.
GranuFlo lawsuits filed following study linking GranuFlo to cardiac arrest
GranuFlo is a dry acid product manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care for use in dialysis treatment and is administered to more than a third of dialysis patients in the United States treated in Fresenius clinics, as well as an additional 125,000 patients treated in other dialysis clinics, as estimated by RenalWEB. Data collected by Fresenius on the 941 patients who suffered cardiac arrest inside Fresenius clinics in 2010 found a link between GranuFlo and alkalosis, a condition in which the blood becomes too basic and which may increase the risk of cardiac arrest.
The New York Times reports that although Fresenius warned doctors at their own clinics of the link between GranuFlo and cardiac arrest, they did not notify the public of this link. The public became aware of the risks associated with GranuFlo after an anonymous source sent the FDA a copy of a Fresenius internal memo discussing these risks. The leak of the internal memo led to an FDA recall of GranuFlo as well as NaturaLyte, another Fresenius dry acid concentrate.
Is the GranuFlo litigation a class action?
The GranuFlo lawsuits filed by Girard Gibbs are included in a mass tort, in which a group of individually filed cases are coordinated for pretrial proceedings, including the collection of evidence about whether GranuFlo producer Fresenius violated the law when it failed to notify the public of the risks associated with its product. In a mass tort lawsuit, individual cases are typically consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which allows a single court to resolve legal and factual questions common to many individual cases in a much more effective and cost-efficient way.
Then, the specific injuries, sustained by patients who were administered GranuFlo are addressed in individual trials or bellwether trials.
GranuFlo lawsuits filed on behalf of California residents
Girard Gibbs has filed lawsuits on behalf of dialysis patients who have suffered cardiac arrest after being administered GranuFlo in California.
In California, mass tort cases that involve a common issue of fact or law are often consolidated in a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP) so that pretrial discovery (i.e., the process to uncover evidence) and procedural motions are presented before one judge. Creating a JCCP allows for economy in litigation while still preserving the right of each plaintiff to have his or her case treated individually and evaluated on its own merits.
Girard Gibbs partner Eric Gibbs to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for coordinated California GranuFlo cases
For GranuFlo litigation in California, JCCP 4749 was established in Los Angeles Superior Court with Judge Lee Smalley Edmon presiding. On July 19, 2013, Judge Edmon appointed Girard Gibbs partner Eric Gibbs, along with several other attorneys, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC). The PSC, along with the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, will be responsible for managing and conducting California state court litigation.