John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here with Jeff Bowersox, of Bowersox Law Firm. Jeff is an attorney with special expertise in defective products and medical devices. Today we’re talking about part two of our discussion on the Fresenius Liberty Cycler peritoneal dialysis recall.
Jeff Bowersox: Hi, John. Thanks for having me back again.
John: Jeff, let’s just remind everybody. What is the Fresenius Liberty Cycler peritoneal dialysis lawsuit?
Jeff: John, the Liberty Cycler is a type of home dialysis machine manufactured by a company called Fresenius, which is one of the largest dialysis product companies in the world. The peritoneal dialysis lawsuits center around a defect in the Fresenius home peritoneal dialysis machine called the Fresenius Liberty Cycler. What is involved in that lawsuit is that people who were using the Liberty Cycler to perform home dialysis through their peritoneal cavity have gotten infections in some cases, and in some cases very serious and complicated peritoneal infections. The lawsuit is to seek fair compensation for the injuries they sustained as a result of that deceptive product.
John: What are the steps involved in joining a lawsuit like that?
Jeff: The first and most important consideration is, was the patient using a Fresenius Liberty Cycler product, and doing so, almost exclusively it would occur at their home. The patient might not be entirely certain whether they have a Liberty Cycler, but probably would know this, and certainly someone who was assisting them with their dialysis process would know.
There would be a Liberty Cycler machine in their home. It connects to a permanently placed port in the patient’s stomach or catheter in the patient’s chest. Generally, this dialysis exchange in the peritoneal cavity occurs overnight. So, that’s step number one. The patient was using a Fresenius Liberty Cycler home peritoneal dialysis machine.
Step number two is if the patient ended up with some kind of peritoneal infection, i.e., an infection in their abdominal cavity and had to get medical treatment as a result. Generally, any infection in the peritoneal cavity would be serious. They would have gone at least to a doctor, more likely to the hospital, and had extensive antibiotic treatment and probably intravenous antibiotic treatment. That’s step two that an injury occurred in the form of a peritoneal infection.
Then, step three is to locate and retain a reputable law firm with experience in handling the Fresenius Liberty Cycler peritoneal dialysis claims. Regardless of where in the country the patient lives, an experienced and qualified Liberty Cycler dialysis lawyer will be able to assist them.
For example, my firm is located in Portland, Oregon, but I represent clients as far west as Hawaii and as far east as New York as well as Fresenius clients in Oregon and elsewhere. The patient’s location is not an obstacle to being represented by a lawyer in another state. The issue is that the client wants to have a lawyer who’s experienced in handling Fresenius Liberty Cycler dialysis cases.
John: That’s good information. What is the history of Fresenius Liberty peritoneal dialysis settlements?
Jeff: Really good question, John. The company recognizes that it has a problem. It has recalled the Liberty Cycler products on a recent occasion in 2012, which extended into 2013, and for some people continues to be a problem today. There was an earlier problem that occurred in approximately 2009.
The history has been that there has been an ongoing problem with leaks in the Fresenius Liberty Cycler. As a result of that, when the peritoneal dialysis procedure was being undertaken, bacteria could be into the patient’s stomach cavity, or peritoneal cavity. The company has recognized that.
They have, as one would expect, hired excellent lawyers and are fighting the matter. At the same time, when confronted with evidence prepared by a lawyer who’s familiar with this, the company has entered into settlements.
The settlements are, of course, confidential, so the amount of any particular settlement will not be known by anyone other than the patient, the patient’s lawyer, and the company. However, there is a good history of the company settling cases when a lawsuit is presented by an experienced Liberty Cycler attorney.
John: We talked about what the steps are that are involved in joining a lawsuit. Are there other steps involved in achieving a dialysis lawsuit settlement?
Jeff: Essentially, the process of achieving the settlement is once it’s determined through the steps we talked about before ‑‑ whether the patient has a lawsuit and has retained the correct law firm to help them with that lawsuit ‑‑ then it’s up to the law firm to prepare documentation, to file the lawsuit. Then discuss with Fresenius’ attorneys the willingness of patient, client and law firm to conduct settlement negotiations.
No settlement is ever reached with Fresenius without our client’s specific consent. This is not a class action. There would never be a settlement imposed upon one of our clients. Instead, there would be a negotiation and a recommendation by our firm, as to whether the settlement proposal was fair, in terms of compensation the patient for their injuries, and within a range of what would be expected to be an appropriate resolution. As compared to going through a lawsuit that could take many years.
John: OK, Jeff Bowersox, thanks for speaking with me today.
Jeff: Thank you, John, glad to do it.
John: For more information, you can visit BowersoxLaw.com, or call Jeff at 1‑800‑255‑1996.