It has been nearly two years since Fresenius Medical Care issued a NaturaLyte and GranuFlo recall in late March 2012, and an influx of product liability lawsuits are expected to be filed against the company on behalf of patients who suffered cardiac arrest or sudden death during or after dialysis. Hundreds of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo lawsuits are already pending in state and federal courts nationwide – all of which involve similar allegations that Fresenius failed to provide sufficient warnings about the risk of side effects associated with the dialysis drugs – and the number of cases is expected to increase dramatically as a possible statute of limitations may require new cases to be filed before the end of March 2014. If you or a loved one has suffered complications allegedly linked to NaturaLyte or GranuFlo dialysis treatment, contact a knowledgeable GranuFlo attorney today for legal help.
GranuFlo and NaturaLyte are acid concentrates commonly used during dialysis treatment to neutralize the build-up of acid that occurs in the blood during this process. However, new data indicates that GranuFlo and NaturaLyte may convert to bicarbonate at higher-than-expected levels, which can mean life-threatening complications for patients not adequately monitored by trained medical professionals. In November 2011, Fresenius Medical Care issued an internal memo to its own dialysis clinics warning doctors that as many as 941 patients suffered sudden cardiac arrest during dialysis treatment in 2010 alone. After the memo was leaked to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2012, Fresenius finally provided a warning letter to all healthcare providers that same month.
Although different states implement different rules for the statute of limitations that may apply to the GranuFlo and NaturaLyte litigation, many states require that such product liability claims be filed within two years of the time that an individual discovers or should have discovered the connection between an injury and a consumer product, like a medication. Fresenius became aware of the alleged increased risk of sudden cardiac death among NauraLyte and GranuFlo patients as early as November 2011, but it wasn’t until March 29, 2012 that the drug company sent the warning notice to dialysis clinics concerning the importance of monitoring bicarbonate levels. With the two-year anniversary of this warning approaching, it’s possible that Fresenius may argue that dialysis claims involving injuries that occurred before March 2012 should be filed by the end of next month in states with a two-year statute of limitations.
According to the latest update regarding the NaturaLyte and GranuFlo litigation, there are currently at least 460 product liability lawsuits centralized as part of the Fresenius multidistrict litigation (MDL). As additional dialysis injury cases are filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country in the coming weeks, the complaints will be transferred to U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock for coordinated handling. If you believe a loved one has been adversely affected by side effects of GranuFlo or NaturaLyte dialysis drugs, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by Big Pharma, and can put you in touch with a reputable product liability lawyer who has experience handling GranuFlo dialysis cases.