Bruce Steckler of Steckler LLP was involved in the litigating several class action lawsuits with Fresenius Medical Care regarding the company’s dialysate brands GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, which resulted in a $250 million out of court settlement on behalf of plaintiffs. Steckler was appointed by the Honorable Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in MDL 2428 In Re: Fresenius Granuflo/Naturalyte Dialysate Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The lawsuit stems from claims that the world’s largest provider of dialysates failed to adequately inform the healthcare providers and patients of its products’ possible side effects. In November 2011, Fresenius circulated an internal memo stating that 900 patients suffered heart attacks in company clinics the previous year. It traced these heart attacks to the use of the company’s dialysates. However, this information was not shared with other dialysis centers until March 2012, when the FDA recalled both GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, finding that use of the products could lead to low blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia, possibly leading up to cardiopulmonary arrest and death.
In order to finalize the $250 million settlement, 97% of the plaintiffs must agree to it by July 2016. Insurers would fund the settlement amount with $220 million.