Baxter Lawsuit Filed by Dennis Quaid
Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly Buffington, have filed a product liability lawsuit against Baxter International Inc. It is one of the numerous cases filed against Baxter related to heparin. Quaid’s testimony before congress has made it a high profile case.
The lawsuit alleges that heparin produced by Baxter has confusing labels. It does not provide specific information regarding doses. Quaid’s newborn twins were administered with an adult dose of the medicine and suffered an overdose.
Quaid hyped his case by testifying before congress. He said that the pharmaceutical companies treat public as lab rats and keep them uninformed. They are liable to compensate for the damages.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Quaid’s twins, Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone, claimed that heparin and Hep-Lock are packed in similar blue vials. Hep-Lock is a lower dose version of Heparin. Both the drugs have similar prints and thus a mix up is unavoidable. This mix-up has affected his children in a fatal way. His newborns almost died with an overdose due to mix up of both medicines. They were administered with an adult dose instead of a child dose at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The babies began bleeding furiously. They also suffered from internal injuries and shock.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages claiming long-term damages are not identifiable at the time of filing the suit. It also blamed pharmaceutical company that it did not recalled these drugs from market even after occurrence of many such mix-ups. This error has resulted in many deaths. The company was compelled to give warnings to health care practitioners about the previous medication errors. The Food and Drugs Administration recalled the drug later in March 2008. The reason was contamination in heparin.
Baxter Healthcare Corporation had tried to get the case dismissed on the grounds of federal preemption. Federal Preemption gives protection to drug and device makers citing approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The product liability lawsuit asked for more than $50,000 in damages. This suit was filed in Chicago. The actor and his wife finally got around $500,000 in June 2009 as a settlement from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.