Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
September 27, 2000

Landmark Settlement for Contaminated Medicine

Baxter Healthcare introduced a medicine known as Gammagard in 1986. Gammagard was manufactured by pooling human blood plasma from thousands of donors and then extracting certain parts of the plasma. Baxter chose not to utilize a viral inactivation process, and many of the Gammagard lots became contaminated with active Hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C kills 10,000 Americans every year and is a leading cause of liver failure.

Our client was infected with Hepatitis C after using contaminated Gammagard. She brought a lawsuit against Baxter for negligence. Bob Kelley, attorney for the client’s family, presented testimony from nationally recognized pharmaceutical experts. A former Baxter scientist testified about his futile efforts trying to pressure Baxter to introduce a solvent detergent process to protect against contamination. Baxter settled the case for a confidential amount during the trial.

After many others were infected, Baxter finally introduced Gammagard S/D. The S/D marking reflects that the product was treated with solvents and detergents that kill viruses, including HIV and hepatitis.

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