FRANKFURT, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Dialysis specialist Fresenius Medical Care (FMC) settled out of court for $250 million with U.S. plaintiffs who had accused the German company of understating the side effects of a medical product, it said late on Wednesday.
Since most of the payment will be covered by an insurance, the negative pretax effect in the fourth quarter will be only $60 million, the group said, adding it expected 2015 revenues of about $16.7 billion. Its 2015 net profit, excluding the charge net of tax, is expected to increase by about 2 percent year-on-year, it added.
U.S. health regulators in 2012 started investigating whether FMC violated rules by failing to alert dialysis clinics about risks linked to a concentrate known as GranuFlo or NaturaLyte for the preparation of dialysis fluids.
The German company had sent a memo to dialysis centres that it operates in the United States, warning them about a link between dosing errors with GranuFlo and a higher risk of cardiac arrest.
But FMC did not send the memo to other U.S. dialysis centres not operated by the company that may have used GranuFlo, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits filed against the company. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Christoph Steitz)