Lawsuit Filed Against Baxter - Financial Times - November 10, 2001

Lawsuit Filed Against Baxter By: Christopher Bowe
Financial Times
November 10, 2001

A Chicago attorney yesterday filed the first lawsuit against US medical products group Baxter International over connections between its kidney dialysis products and 53 recent deaths world-wide. The legal action seeks to become a class action suit to represent people allegedly injured or dead from the use of these dialysis products around the world.

The action stems from a spate of deaths since August in patients who have just completed haemodialysis treatment, in which a machine and its filter replace the function of failing kidneys and remove toxins from the blood.

Deaths in countries including Croatia, Spain and the US are being linked to a filter, or dialyzer, made by a Baxter unit in Sweden.

Officials with the US Food and Drug Administration and Spain's health body this week confirmed investigators believe a link has emerged between the filters' manufacturing process and the deaths.

Baxter stopped distributing the filters in September, recalled them in mid-October and ended production, and took a $150m charge to cover potential costs.

Kenneth Moll, the lead attorney filing the lawsuit, said the lawsuit could include claimants above and beyond the 53 patients reported dead. Christopher Bowe, Chicago.