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 2 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.

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