May 8, 2014 – Lawyers involved in the nationwide GranuFlo litigation are expected to meet this week with a U.S. district judge to review proposals regarding preparation for the upcoming bellwether trials. Fresenius Medical Care (FMC), the company that manufactured GranuFlo, currently faces about 1,500 federal complaints from patients who allegedly suffered cardiac arrest or sudden death after undergoing dialysis treatment with the product. The lawsuits allege that Fresenius knew – or should have known – about GranuFlo’s potential to cause these types of reactions, but that it failed to adequately warn about these dangers before bringing the product to market.
Free GranuFlo Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by GranuFlo side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of GranuFlo and we can help.
GranuFlo Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
In April of 2013, all GranuFlo Lawsuits filed on the federal level were consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in Massachusetts. Woodlock is overseeing the pretrial phase of the litigation, as well as a number of upcoming bellwether trials which are designed to gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of the GranuFlo Lawsuits.
A status conference is scheduled for tomorrow (May 9) at 2:00 p.m. According to a joint status report, the parties are expected to discuss proposed discovery schedules and trial dates, which could result in the first bellwether trials beginning in late 2015 or early 2016.
What is a Bellwether Trial?
As part of the GranuFlo litigation, a small number of cases are being prepared for early trial dates known as “bellwether” cases. While the outcomes of bellwether trials are not binding in the other cases, they are intended to help gauge how juries may respond to evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation process. These early cases may also prompt Fresenius to offer GranuFlo settlement agreements in order to avoid hundreds of individual trials.
First GranuFlo Lawsuits Scheduled for March ’15
On April 8, 2014, Judge Woodlock issued a case management order outlining the proposed bellwether trial structure, stating that both parties should submit a list of 10 representative cases by September 15, at which point case-specific discovery will take place. All depositions and discovery will be completed between October 2014 and February 2015. In March 2015, the original 20 cases will be cut in half, with five selected by each side. These 10 cases will then go through expert discovery and be prepared for the 1st trial dates.
Fresenius not only makes Granuflo and NaturaLyte, but it also owns and operates many dialysis treatment centers around the country. Concerns about the link between these products and heart problems began being raised in early 2012, after an internal memo circulated by Fresenius was leaked to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
In November of 2011, the company performed an internal review of the acid concentrates at their own dialysis treatment clinics, finding at least 941 cases where patients experienced cardiac arrest while undergoing dialysis treatment in 2010. While Fresenius executives only sent the memo to physicians at their own clinics, they failed to to warn the public and medical communities.
After the memo was leaked, Fresenius sent a warning letter to all healthcare providers on March 29, 2012, at which point a nationwide GranuFlo and NaturaLyte recall was issued. According to allegations raised in lawsuits filed by patients who were allegedly injured by GranuFlo and/or NaturaLyte, Fresenius knew – or should have known – about the health risks associated with the products, but that the company withheld this information from the public and medical communities.
Do I Have a GranuFlo Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in GranuFlo lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new GranuFlo injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free GranuFlo Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by the side effects of GranuFlo, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a GranuFlo Suit and we can help.