Fines result after diabetic patient dies

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Product Liability on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Essex residents who suffer from diabetes may relate to the dangers that can occur if insulin is not obtained in a timely manner. In the case of a Barnsley man, defective insulin injections were found to have contributed to his death. The man was treated in 2010 at a hospital in Sheffield, during which time two syringes that lacked insulin were used to address his medical needs. These syringes only contained saline, and the man suffered diabetic ketoacidosis as a result. This led to the failure of multiple organs. The coroner in the community indicated that the defective products contributed significantly to the individual’s death.

In this case, a fine of £500,000 was assessed to the licensed wholesaler of the product. Additionally, the manufacturer was fined £50,000. Further fines were assessed to both the wholesaler and manufacturer after guilty pleas were entered in connection with the Medicines Act of 1968. The manufacturer had also been involved in an earlier case involving defective syringes that contained significantly more Tobramycin than indicated.

Inspections by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency preceded both medical situations, and deficiencies were noted. This products liability case highlights the importance of such inspections. However, it is not clear if penalties or requirements for change were brought up at the time. In a similar situation, the survivors of a deceased patient might be concerned that a company was permitted to continue its operations without first correcting deficiencies.

The surviving family members of a patient who has died because of defective medical products might be concerned with how they will manage after losing the support and companionship of that loved one. Legal action might be appropriate, and a solicitor’s advice might be helpful when seeking damages from the responsible par

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