Written by The Business Journal Staff
A federal jury has ruled in favor of the families of two patients who passed away following treatment at dialysis clinics owned by the DaVita, Inc., resulting in $253 million being awarded.
One of the patients in the lawsuit was Gary Saldana. Saldana received treated treatment at DaVita Almond Wood Dialysis in Madera and died on Oct. 3, 2010, according to a press release from the Service Employees International Union.
The dialysis treatment included the use of GranuFlo Dry Acid Concentrate, a chemical component used in the procedure that was found to contribute to cardiac failure in patients. The lawsuit stated the company had “intentionally, willfully, wantonly or recklessly deceived the plaintiff” around the use of GranuFlo and contributed to the suit being filed.
DaVita is one of the country’s largest dialysis providers, with more than 2,000 centers in the United States and approximately 175,000 patients.
“While nothing can compensate for the senseless loss of a loved one, at least these families can have some peace knowing DaVita is being held responsible,” said Roberto Acosta, a dialysis patient from Baldwin Park. “At the same time, it reminds us that our lives as dialysis patients are so fragile, and may this ruling will spur these big dialysis companies to do more to ensure safe care.”
Saldana’s family was awarded $126 million as a result of the lawsuit.