Is the Fresenius Settlement Offer of $250 Million a Good Deal?

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Is the Fresenius Settlement Offer of $250 Million a Good Deal?

Fresenius Medical Care has agreed to settle over 4000 lawsuits relating to injuries and deaths allegedly caused by its dialysis treatments named GranuFlo and NaturaLyte for $250 million.

The Fresenius settlement requires 97% of the plaintiffs to opt-in to the settlement by July of 2016 before taking effect.

If 97% of plaintiffs opt-in, the average case value would amount to roughly $64,500.

Fresenius develops, manufactures, markets, and sells GranuFlo and NaturaLyte.

The products cleanse the blood of patients undergoing hemodialysis with late stage kidney failure.

Each lawsuit raises allegations that Fresenius failed to sufficiently warn doctors to closely monitor patients receiving GranuFlo and NaturaLyte because the two solutions could raise bicarbonate levels in the blood, causing a patient’s heart to suddenly stop.

Fresenius’ problems began in 2012, when an internal memo was leaked to the Food and Drug Administration.

In the leaked memo, Fresenius admitted it knew of at least 900 instances where patients’ hearts had stopped while being treated with GranuFlo and NaturaLyte.

Despite its knowledge that these life-threatening side effects occurred, Fresenius failed to pass the information along to doctors treating patients with GranuFlo and NaturaLyte.

Plaintiffs argue that Fresenius’ failure to warn doctors negligently mislead the public into continual use of its drug, placing profits ahead of patient health and safety.

Shortly before agreeing to the $250 million settlement Fresenius settlement offer, around 300 state claims were consolidated into multidistrict litigation.

The consolidation proceeding made it clear that the warning given on Fresenius’ website was not enough to provide all health care providers with knowledge of GranuFlo’s and NaturaLyte’s side effects.

Prior to news of this settlement, a series of cases were being prepared for bellwether trials.

Bellwether trials are designed to help both sides of a lawsuit gauge how juries may respond to evidence and testimony most likely to be repeated throughout similar cases.

With the settlement offer pending, however, these trials will probably not occur.

Historically, most Plaintiffs opt-in to an offer for settlement as opposed to facing the risk of receiving nothing for their injuries.

The Fresenius settlement offer may be, from the company’s perspective, a very good deal.

Rather than take a risk of a large plaintiff verdict in the first couple bellwether trials, the $250 million payout may be a necessary evil for the company.

Remember, if the terms of the settlement are met, it could mean an average value of $64,500 for each case.

When the settlements are awarded to each plaintiff, some will receive much more than this figure while others could receive nothing if their case faces major legal impediments.

On the other hand, a jury could award much more to single plaintiffs at trial.

Getting out ahead of these bellwether trials prevents plaintiffs from setting a “bar” high, or low, for these cases.

Ultimately, the plaintiff’s attorneys leading the litigation are best able to value the cases.

They must gauge the risks, and costs, involved with proceeding to trial to obtain a larger settlement or run the risk of obtaining much less.

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Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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