CARDIAC DEATH, FRESENIUS AND OUR SEVENTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS
What does our 7th Amendment right to a jury trial have to do with hemodialysis?
Briggs & Wholey is familiar with the story of kidney dialysis patients who lost their lives to cardiac arrest after being given dialysis drugs called GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. Those drugs were manufactured by a Massachusetts company, Fresenius, and were administered to many Mainers.
But Fresenius wears two hats. Not only did Fresenius make and sell GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, Fresenius is also in the hemodialysis business. Fresenius has dialysis centers all across the United States, and here in Maine in Auburn, Bath, Biddeford, Westbrook, Damariscotta, Augusta, Lewiston, Portland, Eastport and Wilton.
As noted in Briggs & Wholey’s August 14, 2013 Village Soup BizBrief, the Fresenius product, GranuFlo, was tagged with an FDA Class 1 Recall. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/ListofRecalls/ucm309990.htm.
The shocking allegation is that Fresenius held back information about the danger of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte while still selling it for use on unsuspecting dialysis patients at risk.
After losing loved ones who had been given GranuFlo and then died from cardiac arrest, many families struggled with anger and grief, thinking that death could have been avoided if Fresenius had reported the risk of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte to the public sooner. Nobody wants to feel like a victim, but they did.
Eventually those survivors realized that the only way to get back toward life- not to be a victim – was to take control of the things that were important to them, to put Fresenius in front of ordinary people on a jury – to explain its actions and let the people decide.
Getting to a jury can be a long road. It takes toughness and discipline to stay the course. The collection of lawsuits against Fresenius require careful handling by experienced personal injury attorneys with specialized knowledge and information regarding GranuFlo, NaturaLyte, hemodialysis and trial practice regardless whether your loved one died in Maine or anywhere else in the United States.
Fortunately, we aren’t a country of victims. Our 7th Amendment right to a trial by jury gives us the right to take (civilized) action against those who try to take away our income, health and precious time with loved ones. A jury trial is taking action and moving forward with life.