CHARLESTON – A lawsuit against Fresenius Medical Care that alleges it caused the death Nitro woman has been removed to federal court and could be on its way to be grouped with other similar suits.
Linda Bryant filed the lawsuit in May as the executrix of the Estate of Dalta Dixie Pauley, who allegedly used the company’s GranuFlo during a dialysis treatment two days before suffering a heart attack.
The treatment took place at Fresenius Medical Care in Dunbar.
“Dalta Dixie Pauley died as a result of receiving unreasonably dangerous dialysis chemicals that were unfit for the purpose they were designed and sold,” the complaint says.
“GranuFlo was in a dangerous and defective condition at the time of its sale and delivery to Dalta Dixie Pauley. Its defective condition presented a danger to its foreseeable users and consumers, including Dalta Dixie Pauley, during ordinary and foreseeable use of the product.”
The suit alleges six months after Pauley’s death, Fresenius sent an internal memorandum to certain medical directors and physicians warning them of risks associated with NaturaLyte and GranuFlo.
However, the suit says, Fresenius did not warn the federal Food and Drug Administration.
On March 29, 2012, the FDA reported the company’s voluntary Class 1 recall of both the chemicals. The recall warned users of the heightened risk for low blood pressure, low potassium levels, low blood oxygen, high carbon dioxide levels and cardiac arrhythmia, which could lead to sudden death.
“Had the severe health risks associated with Defendants’ NaturaLyte and/or GranuFlo been properly and/or adequately disclosed, the Decedent, Decedent’s treating physicians and/or healthcare facilities would not have purchase and/or used NaturaLyte and/or GranuFlo,” the complaint says.
A multidistrict litigation proceeding has already been established in a federal court in Massachusetts. Now that Pauley case has been removed to federal court, it could possibly be transferred to the MDL soon.
Representing the plaintiff is Roger A. Decanio of The Sutter Law Firm in Charleston.
The defendants’ motion to remove the lawsuit to federal court says defendant Linda Quintrell was fraudulently joined as a defendant. The complaint says Quintrell is the director of the facility in which Pauley received the dialysis treatment and a citizen of West Virginia.
She was only made a defendant to keep the case in a state court, the defendants say. She is accused of concealing facts about the two chemicals.
However, the defendants say Quintrell did not begin working at the facility until December 2011, well after Pauley’s death and a month after the alleged memo.
Quintrell is not the director of the facility anyway, they claim. Instead, she is a registered nurse and clinical manager.
“Accordingly, there is no possible cause of action against Ms. Quintrell under any theory of liability asserted in the complaint,” the removal notice says.
From the West Virginia: Reach John O’Brien at email@example.com.