PINEVILLE -- A Dunbar man is suing Fresenius Medical Care Holdings after he claims it caused his wife's death.
Fresenius Medical Care North America Inc.; Fresenius USA Manufacturing Inc.; Fresenius USA Marketing Inc.; Fresenius Medical Care Charleston; and Dr. Asif Rahman were also named as defendants in the suit.
Fresenius is a global company that provides dialysis treatment in more than 1,800 facilities nationwide.
The defendants' product, Granuflo, significantly increased patients' total buffer and bicarbonate levels and, despite the risk of causing alkolosis and sudden cardiac arrest, and without conducting proper testing and research studies, the defendants aggressively promoted their product across the country, according to a complaint filed April 30 in Wyoming Circuit Court.
James Stockton, individually and of behalf of the Estate of Beverly Stockton, claims for nearly a decade while doing so, the defendants actively misled everyone about the product's safety and characteristics.
The defendants "willfully misrepresented the high bicarbonate levels in their product produced and the increased buffer levels associated with its use in public information."
Lacking critical information and effective product labeling, warning and instruction, caused individuals to provide and receive dialysis treatment in an unsafe and ineffective manner, according to the suit.
James Stockton claims the defendants could have prevented this had they addressed the risks of which they were aware.
Long before Beverly Stockton received the defendants' product, the defendants received, but disregarded, safety signals from various sources forewarning of the risks at issue in the case, according to the suit.
James Stockton claims his wife received hemodialysis at Fresenius Medical Care Charleston on June 26, 2009, and immediately after receiving the treatment, Beverly Stockton suffered cardiac arrest and died.
"Her injury and death, like those striking thousands of similarly-situated victims, were avoidable tragedies," the complaint states. "This preventable loss of life resulted directly from defendants' refusal to conduct proper safety studies, defective product design, suppression of information revealing life-threatening risks, wanton failure to provide adequate instructions and willful misrepresentations concerning the nature and safety of their product."
James Stockton claims the defendants were negligent and fraudulently misrepresented their product.
As a result of the defendants' actions, James Stockton was deprived of a warm and loving relationship with Beverly Stockton, as well as the loss of past and future pecuniary support, according to the suit.
James Stockton is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for his wife's wrongful death.
He is being represented by Michael D. Payne of the Charleston law firm of Redman & Payne. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Warren R. McGraw.
Wyoming Circuit Court case number: 14-C-59