New litigation procedures and requirements have been implemented in the federal litigation system for all Fresenius dialysis lawsuits. The purpose of these new procedures is to help increase the efficiency of filing future claims on behalf of the patients who have suffered from sudden cardiac arrest or other heart problems allegedly caused by GranuFlo and NaturaLyte.
In April 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized the pretrial proceedings for all GranuFlo and NaturaLyte lawsuits filed throughout the federal court, assigning them to U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock. This decision was made because of the large number of lawsuits that are pending in federal court. The centralization was meant to reduce the chance of duplicative discovery, conflicting rulings from different judges, and to serve the convenience of the witnesses, parties and the courts.
In order to further increase the productivity of the litigation process for this multidistrict litigation (MDL), Judge Woodlock issued a case management order on Dec. 23, 2013, which approved of using a master complaint and short form complaint to streamline the process of filing additional claims against Fresenius. These uniform forms will shorten the amount of time required to review each case, because they will allow Woodlock to get a quick, overall look at each case.
A master complaint form outlines all common allegations raised against a defendant in each of the complaints. In this case, plaintiffs allege that Fresenius failed to provide sufficient safety information about GranuFlo and NaturaLyte and the risks presented to the patients while using these products. Following the adoption of the master complaint option, plaintiffs are now able to use short form complaint forms to bring future GranuFlo and NaturaLyte lawsuits.
Short form complaints outline the specific allegations of the plaintiff’s claim, and indicate the portions of the master complaint they are implementing. In this case, it would include which product they used and which type of injury they allegedly suffered as a GranuFlo or NaturaLyte complication.
Overview of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte Complications
Fresenius Medical Care is the largest dialysis business in the world, with 1,800 clinics in the United States. This company employs thousands of doctors, and provides dialysis treatment to millions of patients around the world. The products that this company is most famous for are GranuFlo and NaturaLyte dialysates, which are used to treat kidney failure. GranuFlo and NaturaLyte were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003 and 2007 respectively, and have since been the most widely used dialysis treatments in the country.
Despite the level of success experienced by GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, scientists soon discovered that the products elevated patients’ bicarbonate levels. When the body’s bicarbonate levels reach a certain level, the blood flow in the body slows down due to the high potassium levels. With slower blood flow, blood clots are able to form, which can lead to fatal consequences such as sudden cardiac death, stroke, or heart attack.
It was not until March 29, 2012 that Fresenius admitted to these side effects, after an internal memo was leaked to the FDA. This memo described these side effects in an in-house study conducted by Fresenius. The study reported more than 900 deaths of patients using GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. This memo was initially only sent to company-owned clinics and physicians. After the memo was leaked, the FDA initiated a Class 1 recall of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte from the United States market and started an investigation into Fresenius.
Help for Victims of Kidney Dialysis Injury, Death
If you or a loved one suffered a heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, metabolic alkalosis or other injury after undergoing kidney dialysis with GranuFlo and/or NaturaLyte, you may be eligible to take legal action against the manufacturer of the dialysis drugs. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way you’ll be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages. Learn more and obtain a free case evaluation at the GranuFlo/NaturaLyte Recall Class Action Lawsuit Investigation.
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