DaVita Dialysis Class Action Lawsuits Filed Over Granuflo, NaturaLyte Use

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By: Irvin Jackson | Published: March 12th, 2013

At least four separate class action lawsuits have been filed against DaVita Healthcare over the use of Granuflo and Naturalyte at the company’s dialysis centers, which have been linked to an increased risk of cardiac arrest and sudden death during hemodialysis treatment

The DaVita class action lawsuits allege that the company should have known that side effects of Granuflo and NaturaLyte may increase the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening health problems.

The two dialysis products were manufactured and sold by Fresenius Medical Care, and they were widely used at DaVita dialysis clinics throughout the United States before being recalled, according the lawsuits.

The complaints include claims filed by Donald Thornton (PDF), Melvin Nunes (PDF), Donald Young (PDF), and Armando Moreno (PDF). Each of the lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on March 6, seeking class action status to include all patients treated with GranuFlo or NaturaLyte at a DaVita clinic.

Problems with Fresenius GranuFlo and NaturaLyte

NaturaLyte is a liquid acid concentrate and GranuFlo is a dry acid concentrate.  Both products contain sodium acetate that allegedly converts to bicarbonate at higher-than-expected levels for most doctors.

A recall for Granuflo and NaturaLyte was issued by Fresenius Medical Care in early 2012, after a warning was issued about the risks associated with the products and the importance of doctors monitoring bicarbonate levels during treatment.

Fresenius Medical Care not only manufactures and sells the dialysis products, but also owns and operates thousands of dialysis clinics throughout the United States that directly compete with DaVita clinics. In late 2011, an internal review of patients treated at 667 Fresenius clinics found at least 941 instances where patients suffered a cardiac arrest during dialysis treatment.

Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuits against DaVita allege that healthcare workers with the company should have recognized the risks before the Fresenius recall.

“DaVita knew, or was negligent in not knowing, that its patients’ pre-dialysis serum bicarbonate levels were gradually increasing and that patients were at an increased risk of cardiac arrest as a result,” the lawsuits state. “There were several things DaVita could and should have done, but did not do, to protect its patients.”

Fresenius Lawsuits Over NaturaLyte and GranFlo

Dozens of product liability complaints over Granuflo and NaturaLyte have already been filed against Fresenius Medical Care, alleging that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings. These Fresenius dialysis lawsuits allege that the manufacturer withheld information about the risks associated with the products.

As of February 12, at least 59 complaints were pending against Fresenius Medical Care in U.S. District Courts throughout the country, and a motion has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate and centralize the lawsuits before one judge for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings.

It is ultimately expected that Fresenius could face thousands of injury and wrongful death lawsuits. At this time, a similar motion has not been filed to consolidate DaVita dialysis lawsuits, but the company has been named as a co-defendant in many of the complaints filed against Fresenius.

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There Are 6 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. My mother passed in August 2009 after receiving scheduled dialysis at DaVita. She suffered a heart attck and went into a coma. After being on DNR she passed. It seems maybe the statute of limitatations for a wrongful death (here in Georgia) has passed but I just now learned of the potential class action. Since she had diabetes and the death certificate simply said ‘Cardio/renal failure”, I never suspected the worst as it may now seem plausible? She had complained to me before that she ,”Felt neglected/ignored while on dialysis” though. Might I have a case- lawyers???

  2. I had two strokes many siezures open sores on hands that where unbearable put me in depression sick all the time

  3. My husband passed away this past December. They said cause of death multiple system failure etc. He was on dialysis at Davita from 2010 to 2012, he sustained a fall while there and they did not tell me nor did they investigate. I noticed he was not well and 3 weeks later he found out he had a broken hand. Davita did not treat them too well, he never seemed quite the same. We transferred to another dialysis center all was good he took himself to and from. In 2013 he started having blood pressure problems and developing sores, we went to a wound specialist and they healed the wounds in early 2013l, in Sept 2013 the sores came back and were overwhelming– he drove himself to and from dialysis, one night he fell asleep at the side of the bed (or so we thought) and fell flat on his face broke his glasses, next week cracked his head open, the dialysis center did not comment nor offer us any help, they just said check with primary care. The primary care doctor took samples and blood tests he was diagnosed with MRSA. He was given vancomycin and it seemed to work. We were under wound care but the wounds were not getting better–Oct 31 the wound specialist/surgeon did a procedure to open his graft–on Nov 11, 2011he was admitted to ICU with 32 sores, the antibiotics started destroying his liver , he died 12/21/2013 with many sores–if any one can help me–his sores were round almost with precision and the insides were greenish, I know they never figured out what he died from but I strongly feel they know they just don’t want us to know.

  4. ttI went back on dialysis November of 2011 and right away I knew something wasn’t right wasn’t right I asked my doctor or what was going on as to why I I wasn’t feeling better after dialysis treatment needless to say I missed several days of treatment it’s got so bad I tried to you make it without dialysis and went back to work I got a small blister under my thumb there in 2 days it escalated to the point I thought that I had flesh eating diseaseI but it was just steal syndrome but it was enough to put you in the hospital in Janesville Wisconsin where I underwent dialysis treatment for 5 days I was then released to make the drive back to reno which I did leaving Janesville hospital about 7 o’clock at night I started feeling like s*** got so bad I had to pull into the emergency room in Marengo Iowa where they said I was having symptoms of heart attack struck me as odd since I’ve never had a problem with my heart in my life I spent 10 days Hospital were they were trying to figure out what were they were trying to figure out what has gone wrong with me which they never did upon my return to Reno I resumed dialysis treatment at DaVita afterwards the same old things start to happen again you got the point where I thought I was gonna die I was then left to suffer three times a week and in between treatments trying to figure out what was going wrong with me the doctor cant help me because you did not know what was going on left to suffer and fill it out for myselt and the suffering has continued up till last month l that’s is I asked a cardiologist if my heart conditions have been caused by a grand flow is it was certainly could be as soon as it had been I ask him if he thought it had been damaged due to the granuflo& natural light he stated that he couldn’t be ruled out well I’ve got news for all you stay away from that s*** because it’ll kill you I’ve been trying to get me for 2 years now I can’t get up f****** lawyers to listen to my story if it isn’t easy they don’t wanna take the case what do you need a dead body but felt like a walking corpse the pain and suffering that I have over over the past two years is unimaginable . due to the fact that I can’ due to the fact that I can’t get lawyer to listen to my legitimate complaints when I went to dialysis treatment was like playing Russian roulette sick and tired of that had enough I’ve got pictures on my phone of jugs of grandeur flow in natural light that is still being used where’s the humanity. If you or anyone you know has had these similar symptoms after being treated at divita or any kidney treatment center feel free to call me 301 0343

  5. My mom was receiving dialysis through Davita, using their supplies but primarily it was home dialysis. She died 3/25/2011 and it seems her story and cause of death is very similar to other patients: presumed myocardial infarction/multiple organ failure. She was a resident of Washington State.

  6. just seen a commercial about these possible lawsuits about loved one on hemodialysis and investigating, my grandfather just passed away November 26 2013 with all these symptoms im reading about.

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