Laxative lawsuit expected to settle

May 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM
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CLEVELAND, May 19 (UPI) -- Lawyers say lawsuits brought against a pharmaceutical company over an oral laxative are likely to be settled soon.

Negotiations between C.B. Fleet Co. of Lynchburg, Va., and lawyers for hundreds of plaintiffs are under way in federal court in Cleveland, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Wednesday. Both sides said they expect a resolution soon.

Fleet manufactured oral laxatives given to patients to prepare them for colonoscopies and other procedures where the intestines need to be emptied. The products were withdrawn from the market in December 2008 because of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration safety alert.

The laxatives were marketed under the names Fleet Phospho-soda, Fleet Phospho-soda Accu-Prep and Fleet Phospho-soda EZ-Prep.

The plaintiffs blame the laxative for chronic kidney problems. In the worst cases, they require dialysis or a kidney transplant to remain alive and a few deaths have been linked to the laxative.

They charge the company also ignored the first reports of problems.

"While we are encouraged by the progress made to date on the global settlement, there are several matters remaining to be resolved," the company said in a written statement to the newspaper.

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