WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - A federal jury in Denver has awarded $383.5 million to the families of three patients who died due to cardiac arrest after receiving treatments at dialysis giant DaVita Inc.'s clinics.
The jury decided that DaVita was negligent and concealed facts from the patients regarding GranuFlo, a product known to cause toxic pH imbalances.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had recalled GranuFlo in 2012 and the wrongful deaths lawsuits were filed against DaVita in 2013 alleging negligence and fraud.
The complainants claimed that DaVita failed to inspect and review the composition of GranuFlo and notice alarming blood changes when patients returned for dialysis treatments.
Meanwhile, DaVita, in a statement, said 'We strongly disagree with this jury's verdict and will vigorously pursue all appeal rights.'
'GranuFlo is an FDA-approved product that has been in continuous use for more than 25 years. The issues raised regarding its alleged negative clinical side effects have been debunked and nephrologists use it daily for their patients. The plaintiffs in this case did not even claim that the product itself was dangerous.' the company said.
'Our first priority is the safety of our patients,' DaVita said. 'Our clinical outcomes - among the best in the industry - demonstrate our commitment to providing the highest level of care.'
The jury awarded the families of deceased patients Irma Menchaca, Gary Saldana and Deborah Hardin compensatory damages of $2 million, $1.5 million and $5 million, respectively. Punitive damages of $125 million were awarded for each family.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX