LYNCHBURG, Va., May 16 LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire — A Norfolk, Virginia law firm has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Lynchburg-based C.B. Fleet Company on behalf of a Texas woman who suffered acute renal failure and other side effects after the use of Fleet Phospho-soda prior to a medical procedure. While there have been hundreds of reports of patients damaged by the product, this legal action is believed to be the first filed against the large manufacturer of health, medical and pharmaceutical products.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff in the case, Lora Joyce Goza, entered Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas in May of 2005 for a routine cancer screening colonoscopy. As part of the preparation for the procedure Goza was given a Fleets Phospho-Soda Bowel Prep solution, a common practice designed to cleanse a patient’s bowels to facilitate accurate viewing of the intestines. But according to the suit, the Phospho-Soda combined with Goza’s blood pressure medication to create a negative response, causing permanent kidney damage and eventually kidney failure.
The lawsuit further alleges that the damage to Goza was avoidable due to the fact that C.B. Fleet Company had known for at least 12 years of the potential of the product to produce dehydration, renal failure and other complications when combined with certain blood pressure medications and diuretics. Furthermore, the suit alleges that C.B. Fleet Company did not issue special warnings to gastrointestinal physicians or radiologists who were the likely users of the bowel purgative even though C.B. Fleet knew of the dangers. Neither the product package nor the accompanying instructions carried any warnings about the dangerous side effects of the product, in spite of frequent reports of problems from patients and physicians.
“This is a clear case of negligence on the part of a large corporation that is more focused on protecting their best-selling product than protecting peoples’ lives,” said Jeffrey Breit of the law firm of Breit Drescher & Imprevento in Norfolk, Virginia. “Instead of warning physicians and patients like Ms. Goza about the dangers of their product, they chose to ignore the vast amount of information that indicated major problems so they could keep meeting their sales goals. Their negligence has brought immense pain and discomfort to Ms. Goza and will almost certainly shorten her life by several years.”
Fleet Phospho-Soda is one of the best-selling bowel cleansing products in the world, with millions consumed annually by patients undergoing medical examinations. After several years of reported side effects, the FDA issued a notice to healthcare professionals in 2005 of reported “acute renal failure, a serious event associated with the use of oral sodium phosphates for bowel cleansing.” The notice listed other complications of the solution when combined with a number of different drugs.
“Hopefully, the FDA’s action will prompt C.B. Fleet Company to attach appropriate warnings to its products and encourage them to adequately notify health care providers about the dangers of their product,” said Jack Drescher, co-counsel on the complaint. “Unfortunately, it’s too little too late for Ms. Goza and that is the focus of this legal action,” Drescher added.
Breit Drescher & Imprevento expects to represent hundreds of clients against C.B. Fleet in the near future. Breit’s location in the same state as the plaintiff facilitates the legal process for out-of state plaintiffs as well as those living in Virginia. And it is generally acknowledged that Virginia’s defective product laws are fairer to plaintiffs than those of many other states.
ABOUT BREIT DRESCHER IMPREVENTO
Breit Drescher & Imprevento is a Norfolk, Virginia law firm specializing in plaintiff law. The firm represents individuals and classes of plaintiffs in a wide variety of personal injury matters including defective products, automotive accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse. Breit Drescher & Imprevento has successfully prosecuted some of the largest personal injury award settlements in Virginia, including a $25 million settlement against a major public utility. http://www.breitdrescher.com/