Pharmaceutical

Quaid-Cedars-Siani lawsuit over heparin overdose finally closed

Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly now have closure in their year-long heparin overdose lawsuit against Cedars-Siani Medical Center, according to OK! and Entertainment Tonight. The entertainment media reported that a Los Angeles judge has signed off on the $750,000 settlement the couple reached with Cedars-Siani last month. According to the settlement, the hospital did not admit wrongdoing in the potentially fatal overdose of heparin that was accidentally administered to the couple’s newborn children Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone Quaid. The settle also allows for the couple to pursue claims for their children in the future. The California Department of Public Heath fined Cedars-Siani $25,000 for the error.

The Quaids also sued Baxter Healthcare Corp. over the packaging and labeling of its high-dose and low-dose heparins, arguing the two bottles are easily confused. Other cases of heparin overdose have been reported and linked in part to the confusing packaging. The Quaid’s lawsuit against Baxter was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds because the event occurred in California.

Baxter was no stranger to the spotlight in 2008, facing numerous lawsuits most notably for the tainted heparin scandal earlier in the year. More than 80 Americans died and hundreds more were sickened after receiving doses of heparin made at Baxter China plant. An investigation found that lots made in that plant were contaminated with over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). The contaminant can cause serious allergic reactions and even death. The FDA issued a recall on batches of Baxter’s heparin.

According to news reports, the Quaid-Cedars-Siani case indicates that Baxter may also sue Cedars-Siani for improperly administering the blood thinner to several patients at the hospital, including the Quaid’s newborn twins.