’60 Minutes’: Kimberly-Clark/Halyard Health Lawsuit

Posted May 6, 2016 at 12:37 pm

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Based on information and documents uncovered within the last week, Eagan Avenatti LLP, Los Angeles, revised their damages estimate this morning to $900 million in a class action lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles against Halyard Health and Kimberly-Clark Corp. In the lawsuit, the firm alleges that the companies committed fraud in the marketing and selling of their protective medical gowns. In addition, the firm announced that they have been actively investigating countless product failures occurring within the companies’ surgical and infection prevention division and expect to be filing additional cases shortly.

“Unfortunately, with each passing week, we are discovering that the problems at Halyard are systemic,” said lead attorney Michael Avenatti of Eagan Avenatti LLP, the law firm representing the plaintiffs. “They reflect a decade of noncompliance throughout Halyard’s surgical and infection prevention division, which accounts for over $1 billion of revenue per year to the company. Documents recently uncovered show that the product failures have plagued the company for years and they have knowingly continued to place healthcare professionals at risk. These failures are unfortunately not confined to surgical gowns and healthcare professionals need to be very wary of Halyard products.”

A report regarding the lawsuit aired May 1 on CBS “60 Minutes.” The law firm representing the plaintiffs released the following information after the 60 Minutes story ran on television:

  • The firm is demanding that Kimberly-Clark and Halyard agree to publically release all documents they have produced in the lawsuit so the American public and healthcare professionals can know the truth about the companies’ testing and product failures. “They refuse to lift the gag order on these documents for one simple reason – they are devastating to the company,” Avenatti said. “They know that if the documents see the light of day, the company will go into a free fall. We are demanding that the company agree to allow us to share the documents with the public.”
  • The firm disclosed that as early as 2012, Kimberly-Clark knew the gowns were failing testing on a monthly basis and yet did nothing. The company also had its own tests commissioned in 2013 that confirmed the gowns were failing at an alarming rate. Despite failing test after test, neither Kimberly-Clark nor Halyard ever informed the FDA or healthcare professionals. Instead, they continued to place healthcare workers at risk.
  • The firm disclosed they have been in contact with congressional investigators seeking information regarding Kimberly-Clark and Halyard’s business practices. Hearings and governmental inquiries are expected in the coming weeks.
  • The firm estimates that the financial fallout from the current case together with upcoming litigation from other product failures could approach $2 billion, an amount far in excess of Halyard’s ability to pay.