MERCEDES FINANCIAL SERVICES, N.Y. (AP) A federal jury in New York on Friday found the company responsible for an illegal practice of requiring physicians to inject patients with dangerous medications before they receive critical medical care.
The verdict in the case brought by the American Medical Association, the state attorney general and the state-based medical device manufacturers’ trade association, marks a major victory for consumers who have been suing the medical devices giant over alleged safety violations.
The medical device makers, who have faced pressure from consumer advocates, say that the companies’ policies are designed to help doctors and patients.
They say that doctors and hospitals routinely administer these drugs in order to provide the best possible care to patients.
The American Medical Assn., which represented the manufacturers, argued in a motion that the lawsuit should be dismissed because it is based on a false claim and because the medical device companies failed to prove that the injections were necessary.
The doctors’ groups say that a large number of patients and doctors have died because of these injections.
Mercedes Financial Services was the subject of a separate class-action lawsuit filed by the medical groups in 2015, after the company paid $3.9 billion to settle claims by more than 1,000 doctors.
In response, the makers of the pain meds settled with the doctors’ organizations in September 2016.
A second class-actions lawsuit was filed last year in a New York state court after the state’s medical device regulators said they would not be able to enforce the manufacturers’ consent-based consent rules because the manufacturers did not follow them.
Merchants who are not members of the medical technology trade association also are involved in the suit, but the groups said that the doctors who brought the lawsuit had not had the benefit of a review process.
The jury in the trial also decided that the medical group should have been reimbursed for its own costs for the drugs it gave to patients who were treated with these injections before being admitted to the hospital.
The company, which is based in New Jersey, faces fines of up to $12 million and up to three years in prison if found guilty of violating the consent-style regulation.