Number of GranuFlo Lawsuits over Dialysis Patient Deaths Growing Quickly

There are 29 Fresenius Medical Care dialysis clinics in Oklahoma. Photo above is from a Virginia clinic.

There are 29 Fresenius Medical Care dialysis clinics in Oklahoma. Photo above is from a Virginia clinic.

The number of lawsuits continues to grow against Fresenius Medical Care over deaths allegedly linked to the use of GranuFlu, a chemical compound used in dialysis for kidney patients. Many of the most recent suits have been filed by family members on behalf of patients who died after receiving dialysis treatments using GranuFlo.

The Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation reported on Monday that the number of federal legal actions which have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation has grown to 433 cases. A month ago, that number was 393, revealing that more than one new GranuFlo case is being added to the federal MDL each days.

In addition to those almost 400 federal cases, more than 300 additional GranuFlo lawsuits are pending in a multicounty litigation in Middlesex County Superior Court, Massachusetts. Because Fresenius’s North American headquarters are in Massachusetts, residents of that state can opt to keep their case in state court rather than having it transferred to the federal MDL, where most suits filed elsewhere in the nation end up.

In reports from around the country:

• In West Virginia, five lawsuits were filed in November. Four of them were filed on behalf of patients who died after receiving dialysis using GranuFlo.

• In Massachusetts, two lawsuits were filed earlier this month. In one case, the patient died immediately after receiving dialysis. In the other, the patient experienced a serious cardiac event.

• In Louisiana, a woman has filed a lawsuit on behalf of her husband who had cardiac complications and died of heart failure after receiving dialysis using GranuFlo.

• In New Jersey, a family has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who died after receiving dialysis using GranuFlo.

GranuFlo is manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care North America, Waltham, MA, which is a division of Fresenius Medical Care, Germany. Fresenius also owns and operates more than 2,100 dialysis facilities in the U.S., including 29 in the Oklahoma City area and Tulsa metro areas and several other Oklahoma cities.

The lawsuits against Fresenius allege that GranuFlo causes metabolic alkalosis, which can lead to cardiac arrest and death. The lawsuits also allege that FMC knew about the dangers associated with GranuFlo, but attempted to conceal the information rather than disclose the risk to health providers and prospective patients. In a November 2011 internal memo, FMC alerted personnel at its own dialysis facilities about the dangers, but did not make that information public.

Fresenius is targeted in the hundreds of lawsuits both as the manufacturer of GranuFlo and in many instances as the owner of the facility where the dialysis was performed. Fresenius performs more than a third of all dialysis treatments in the U.S. in its facilities.

For more information about GranuFlo and about your legal rights if you or a loved one has experienced severe effects after receiving dialysis in a Fresenius facility or in another facility that uses GranuFlo dialysis products, please see our webpage: “Fresenius’ GranuFlo, Naturalyte Dialysis Products Linked to Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Death” or simply contact us for a free consultation.