Five lawsuits filed over Fresenius dialysis treatments

By John O'Brien | Nov 21, 2013

CHARLESTON – Five lawsuits were filed against Fresenius Medical Care Holdings on Nov. 5 over the company’s GranuFlo and NaturaLyte products.

Four of the lawsuits were brought by the estates of individuals who died as an alleged result of dialysis treatments in which the chemicals were used.

The suits are likely to be transferred to a Massachusetts federal court in which a multidistrict litigation proceeding is processing the claims.

The five complaints were filed by James A. McKowen of James F. Humphreys & Associates in Charleston.

The plaintiffs are Gigi L. Billups, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Mary L. Wright; Kay McCoy, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Ronald McCoy; Lorene Spradling, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Franklin Delano Spradling; Ruby Turton, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Verlin Stevens; and Billy Joe Williams.

Judge Douglas P. Woodcock is presiding over the MDL. Lawsuits claim GranuFlo and NaturaLyte have caused strokes and heart attacks in patients who used them.

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.

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