DaVita Healthcare (NYSE:DVA) owes $383.5 million in damages, $375 million of which is in punitive damages, to relatives of dialysis patients who died after treatment at DaVita’s dialysis centers, according to court documents.
Plaintiffs in the case claimed that their relatives on dialysis care died due negligence and DaVita using GranuFlo and NaturaLyte solutions, made by Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS; ETR:FRE), which had been recalled by the FDA.
A jury for the US District Court for the District of Colorado, under Judge Brooke Jackson, awarded a total of $8.5 million in compensatory damages and $375 million in punitive damages.
DaVita issued a response to the verdict, saying it “strongly disagrees” and that it will pursue all its appeal rights.
The company said that the GranuFlo solution it uses has been in use for more than 25 years, and added that the alleged negative clinical side effects “have been debunked” and that it is still in use. DaVita goes on to claim that facts in the trial “contradict the allegations upon which the verdict is premised.”
DaVita said it also believes there are grounds to eliminate or reduce damages in the award, and said that the punitive damages “dramatically exceeds the limits imposed under the applicable state laws in California and Illinois, as well those set forth by the United States Supreme Court.”
“Our first priority is the safety of our patients. Our clinical outcomes – among the best in the industry – demonstrate our commitment to providing the highest level of care. We will pursue any and all avenues of appeal to overcome this unjust verdict and believe today’s verdict is unlikely to stand,” DaVita wrote in a press release.