Houston, TX (July 18th, 2019) – Parents Klay and Christina King have filed an Amended Complaint against drug manufacturer Pharmatech, LLC., et. al., following the death of their 15-month-old son Stephen. The child was recovering from surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in 2016 when he contracted a bacterial infection from the burkholderia cepacia bacterium. Such bacterial infections are typically treatable but can be fatal in those with compromised immune systems, the very young, and the elderly.
The Amended Complaint sets forth serious allegations concerning The Harvard Drug Group LLC and its parent company, Cardinal Health, Inc. regarding their conduct in the 2016 and 2017 burkholderia cepacia outbreaks from contaminated Diocto liquid manufactured by Pharmatech LLC of Davie Florida.
The Amended Complaint alleges that Pharmatech operated a water system that “was completely and totally inadequate for the purpose of manufacturing pharmaceuticals.” It further alleges that Harvard/Cardinal had the “right and duty to perform audits on Pharmatech’s facility to ensure compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices” but that “failed to perform such audits properly.”
The Amended Complaint also states that after Cardinal Health acquired The Harvard Drug Group in 2015 that Dan Movens, a Cardinal executive, had “serious quality concerns” about Pharmatech and that he “instructed subordinates to move away” from Pharmatech. The complaint further alleges that Movens later changed his mind after meeting with a Pharmatech sales representative and a new deal was struck between the two companies with that included new cost savings for Cardinal Health.
Finding the Source
Stephen King was not the only person who contracted the infection while at Texas Children’s Hospital. The outbreak of over 20 infections led to an investigation by the hospital who isolated the bacteria to Diocto liquid manufactured by Pharmatech for Harvard Drug Group’s Rugby label.
Multiple complaints across the US prompted an FDA and CDC investigation which led to a recall of Diocto and eventually all Pharmatech liquid products. The FDA released a formal bulletin stating that they had found Pharmatech’s products to be contaminated with bacteria, yeast, and mold. Despite these warnings, a second outbreak occurred in 2017 that was once again linked to the Rugby Diocto and two additional recalls were instituted after multiple illnesses from B. Cepacia. The Pharmatech plant in Davie, Fl has since shut down.
The King family is represented by Tommy Hastings of Hastings Law Firm, P.C. of Houston, Texas and Howard Grossman of Boca Raton, FL. “We are honored to represent the King family in their quest to uncover why this needless tragedy occurred.”, stated Mr. Hastings. “We are committed to ensuring that the culpable parties be held accountable at all levels. This case is about more than just a single rogue manufacturer. It’s about the system and how medications are delivered to our children nationwide.”
It is unknown how many children died or were injured by these outbreaks, but several lawsuits have been filed across the country.
The Hastings Law Firm specializes in medical malpractice and pharmaceutical negligence cases in Texas. With offices across the state, they are one of only a handful of personal injury attorneys who exclusively handle such cases. For more information about their practice, medical negligence law, or the ongoing Pharmatech matter, you can visit them online at https://www.hastingsfirm.com/ or reach their offices at 346-245-5495.