A federal jury in Denver, Colo. awarded $383.5 million to the families of three patients who died of cardiac arrest after treatments at clinics run by dialysis provider DaVita Inc.
Attorneys for the families said the Denver-based company treated the patients with GranuFlo, a product known to cause toxic pH imbalances. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled GranuFlo in 2012, and the wrongful deaths lawsuits were filed against DaVita in 2013 alleging negligence and fraud.
According to the complaints, DaVita failed to inspect and review the composition of GranuFlo and notice alarming blood changes when patients returned for dialysis treatments. Attorneys for the families said the company should have been aware of the uptick in reports of death and complications related to GranuFlo.
“DaVita ignored many red flags that preceded the loss of life of these three patients and many others,” said Rob Carey, the lead trial attorney for Hagens Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.
Jurors awarded each of the three parties $125 million in punitive damages, with compensatory damages ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million, The Denver Post reported .
DaVita officials said the company plans to file an appeal seeking to overturn the verdict.
“We will pursue any and all avenues of appeal to overcome this unjust verdict and believe we will be successful upon appeal,” the company said in a written statement.
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