Products and Liability Research Paper
Professor Wendy White
June 10, 2014
Question # 1:
Describe the company and the product safety issue that led to the lawsuit.
Baxter Pharmaceuticals is a healthcare company located in Deerfield, Illinois which was founded in 1931 by Dr. Donald Baxter. Baxter Pharmaceuticals was the first manufacturer of commercially prepared intravenous solutions. The company primarily “focuses, develops, manufacture, and markets different healthcare products that are used to save and sustain the lives of people with immune disorders, hemophilia, infectious disease, and other chronic and acute medical ...view middle of the document...
The nurse mistakenly injected the twins with a massive overdose of 10,000 units of Heparin (blood-thinning medication). Later on that day this step was repeated and within 48 hours of the twins being admitted. They were facing death from a condition they were not admitted for. The twin’s begin to bleed profusely because they were hemorrhaging through vein or artery which normally cause brain damage, organ failure, and/or can lead to death. In the end the twins were stabilized. The hospital investigation showed that the fatal mistake occurred when the bottle of Hep- Lock 10 units/ml and Heparin 10,000 unit/ml had similar labels with blue backgrounds that made the two hard to distinguish.
Discuss the legal theories used by the plaintiff to recover in this lawsuit, how the lawsuit was resolved, and why you agree with the decision in the case.
In this case the plaintiff (the Quaids) filed two count complaint against Baxter for liability and negligence. The Quaid argued that Hep-Lock 10 unit/ml and Heparin 10,000 unit/ml are beyond dangerous condition because of the blue labels on the drug, which makes it overly hard to distinguish the two medications from one another. Baxter stated that the two medications should have been different vitals and should have been disguisable in shape and size.
The Quaid’s further argue the defend was negligent because they failed to recall or repackage the 10,000 units/ml vial of Heparin or issue some type of important warning to healthcare providers around the United States. When they had knowledge of infant deaths that were a result of the medication errors. The plaintiff also argued that Baxter sold different dosages with the same blue background and failed to issue urgent warning about the fatal medication errors that had occurred to health care providers who had already purchased the products. Baxter could not assure providers initiate mandatory education and implement safety measures are in place to prevent medication errors that happened to the twins. Baxter also failed to provide the adequate after-market solution to the existing vials and to assure that none of the existing vials were used or going to be until after a solution was in place and executed as safe and effective.
“The court rejected the plaintiff’s contention that the defendant’s failure to bring a third party complaint renders the issue premature and speculative. The decision to use a product that is mislabeled or contains inadequate warnings was made by a highly trained party is not subject to the court’s jurisdiction.” ("Quaid VS Baxter," 2008) Basically, the case was dismissed on forum non conveniens due to jurisdiction. I don’t agree with the court’s decision to dismiss on jurisdiction. I think the states should not matter when the manufacturer is based in another states. A person should be able to file a suit against them for wrong doing where ever they are. I don’t think the Quaid’s should have been filing a suit...