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Granuflo Bellwether Case Fails to Prove Fault

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Santa Clara, CAThe first bellwether Fresenius trial for people who opted out of the earlier $250 million dollar settlement has failed to make its case, with the jury finding in favor of Fresenius Medical Care.

The federal jury in Massachusetts delivered their verdict after deliberating for a day. They found that the plaintiff could not establish that her late husband, North Carolina resident Carley Dial, died due to the Fresenius clinic’s care.

The earlier Fresenius multi-district litigation (MDL), centered on two dialysates Granuflo and Naturalyte, which have been blamed for heart problems, strokes and death in thousands of patients. The lawsuits alleged that Fresenius Medical Care knew of the danger in their products and failed to adequately warn and inform the public. Further, there are allegations that claim the company neglected to warn health care providers as well as properly train them on how to use these dialysis products safely. Additionally, the lawsuits claimed Fresenius failed to warn dialysis clinics, outside its own Fresenius clinics, of potential Alkali Dosing Errors.

Dial’s case claimed that because his doctors weren’t properly trained on the use of Naturalyte, he was given an overload of ingredients that help regulate the amount of acid in the system of someone with unhealthy kidneys. Two different chemicals, bicarbonate and acetate, can work together to increase the amount of bicarbonate in patients' systems, but the label on Naturalyte didn't even correctly describe its ingredients, Dial's family alleged.

In Dial’s case, that overdose of ingredients administered by physicians who were not properly trained resulted in metabolic alkalosis and his subsequent death from cardiac arrest, which was likened to electric problem with the heart, Dial’s family asserted.

However, experts for Fresenius testified that Dial had actually died of a heart attack, which was related to underlying health issues including significantly high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease, and not his treatment at Fresenius.

The case is Dial v. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-11101, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Law360, Boston

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