At the support of Fresenius lawyers, all pending and future cases filed over GranuFlo and NaturaLyte have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, where a federal multi district litigation (MDL) has been created, a federal judicial panel ruled in March. The Order issued by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on March 29th, 2013 decided that all claims will be coordinated under a single judge in Massachusetts federal court since the actions are factually similar. GranuFlo attorneys for plaintiffs in these cases allege that use of the acid concentrates during dialysis treatments may cause sudden cardiac death, cardiovascular death, cardiopulmonary arrests, heart attacks and other catastrophic heart injuries within 48 hours. Fresenius lawyers have voiced their support for the creation of a MDL in Massachusetts, where the manufacturer, along with witnesses and documentary evidence relevant to the litigation will be located. In fact, the Waltham, Mass.-based company publicly backed a petition to consolidate cases on Jan. 3, 2013, when 11 GranuFlo and NaturaLyte lawsuits had been filed in federal jurisdictions in the U.S. The JPML considered Mississippi, California and New Jersey as possible MDL locations before settling on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The action to coordinate pretrial proceedings for GranuFlo and NaturaLyte lawsuits, which was most likely met with satisfaction by GranuFlo attorneys and Fresenius lawyers alike, was issued nearly a year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Class I NaturaLyte and GranuFlo recall in July 2012. Class I is the most serious category of recalls issued by the FDA, and is only implemented in the event that the product in question has a high likelihood of causing severe side effects and/or death. Since the NaturaLyte and GranuFlo recall, the FDA has continued to investigate the safety and effectiveness of the drugs used to neutralize acid build-up in dialysis treatments. The agency is also committed to investigating Fresenius USA for hesitating to warn health care providers about the side effects of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte after finding an internal company memo sent Nov. 4, 2011 that warned of 900 deaths stemming from GranuFlo use.

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