Young South Florida Leukemia Patient Represented by Hannon & Boyers Sues Makers of Contaminated Heparin, Saline

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A 20-year-old leukemia patient who suffered a severe bacterial infection after receiving contaminated heparin and saline solutions that were subsequently recalled by the Food and Drug Administration has filed a lawsuit today against the manufacturer and distributors of these products in state court in Palm Beach County. The suit seeks unspecified damages in excess of $100,000.

family hopes that the lawsuit will hold the defendants accountable for their reckless production and distribution of dangerous medicines while providing for the specialized care and rehabilitation that Kyle now requires.

A blood thinner used to prevent clots, heparin is derived from pig intestines and often collected from small, mostly unregulated farms in China. Contaminated heparin produced in China has been linked to many deaths and infections across the globe, and congressional leaders are now calling for major changes in the way that the FDA functions.

Plaintiff Kyle Pacheco and his father Edward are represented by the Miami law firm of Hannon & Boyers in the lawsuit, which alleges that Kyle became seriously ill and suffered permanent injuries as a result of receiving contaminated "Sierra Pre-Filled" heparin and saline syringes. The products were made by Chicago-based AM2PAT, Inc., and they were distributed and ultimately administered to Kyle Pacheco by Maryland-based Maxim Healthcare Resources and its subsidiary CareMax Medical Resources, LLP. The FDA ordered the contaminated syringes to be recalled in December 2007 and expanded the recall in January 2008 after inspections revealed that AM2PAT was not in compliance with regulations and "failed to have adequate controls to ensure the necessary sterility of its pre-filled syringes."

After receiving a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia in early 2006, Kyle Pacheco required intravenous medications administered at his home on a daily basis. The medicines included heparin and saline twice per day in order to prevent the formation of dangerous clots. In November 2007 after he had recovered from leukemia, Kyle received the heparin and saline products that were later found by the manufacturer and FDA to be contaminated with serratia marcescens, an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal bacteria. He became critically ill and was hospitalized with sepsis, which is a severe infection caused by bacteria in the bloodstream, and the infection inflicted serious and permanent damage to his health and wellbeing.

"After everything that Kyle and his family underwent and overcame in his battle with leukemia, the harm that was inflicted on him by the manufacturers and distributors of the medicines that he needed for his continued recovery makes his case truly heart wrenching," said Robert Boyers of Hannon & Boyers.

The law firm's James Hannon also indicates that the "family hopes that the lawsuit will hold the defendants accountable for their reckless production and distribution of dangerous medicines while providing for the specialized care and rehabilitation that Kyle now requires."

The "Sierra Pre-Filled Syringe" recall ultimately included AM2PAT's entire product line of heparin and saline flush syringes. The tainted syringes were also distributed in Colorado, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania, and the attorneys for the Pachecos expect more lawsuits from injured victims who received the products. Those who believe that they may have received these medicines or their families are encouraged to contact the law firm of Hannon & Boyers to learn more about their legal rights.

Hannon & Boyers focuses on cases involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, defective products, dangerous premises and other serious injury matters. The firm's partners and associates are highly experienced civil trial attorneys who have litigated numerous personal injury cases that have resulted in substantial damage awards for injured clients.

Additional information about Hannon & Boyers is available at or by calling 305-358-3109.

Media Availability:

Kathleen Pacheco, Kyle's mother, will be available for interviews/photography in the early afternoon on Thursday, June 26, 2008 from her offices in Boynton Beach, Fla. Please contact Julio Garcia or John P. David at 305-255-0035 to arrange an interview.

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