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Defective diabetes supplies ends in man's death, manufacturers held responsible

Despite the extreme distance between states, a wrongful death lawsuit out of Louisiana this month is hitting close to home for many Maryland residents who have experienced similar circumstances.

According to the lawsuit filed in December 2012, the family of an elderly man is suing three companies they believe are responsible for the man’s death in 2010. In the lawsuit they name three medical supply companies: Diabetes Management and Supplies, Lifescan Inc, and Johnson & Johnson. It is in the family’s opinion that their diabetes testing products were defective which caused the elderly man to accidently overdose on insulin that he was taking to manage his diabetes.

The accidental overdose took place in December 2010 after his OneTouch Ultra Blood Glucose meter gave him a false reading. As a result, the elderly man injected himself with a higher-than-needed dosage which caused him to go into a diabetic coma. This coma inevitably contributed to his death one year later.

The family learned a week after the man’s death that a different company that also made diabetes testing equipment had issued a recall for defective testing strips. Although the three companies named in the suit have neither confirmed nor denied that their products were defective at the time of the fatal accident, it does lead many to wonder if this could have been the reason for the man’s death.

A products liability case like this is not only alarming to the residents of the state in which it occurred but to people across the nation as well. Because these products were distributed nationwide, many more people may have become victims of wrongful death as a result.

Source: The Louisiana Record, “Johnson & Johnson and other insulin producers sued on wrongful death claims,” Kyle Barnett, Feb. 15, 2013