LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eagan Avenatti, LLP, a Southern California-based law firm, filed a class action lawsuit yesterday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, alleging that Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB), a global healthcare company, has committed fraud in the marketing and selling of certain of their protective medical gowns. In particular, the suit states that the company has falsely represented to the FDA, health care workers and the general public that the company’s “MICROCOOL Breathable High Performance Surgical Gowns” (the “Surgical Gowns”) are impermeable and provide protection against Ebola despite the fact that the company has known since 2013 that these gowns failed industry tests and do not meet relevant standards, thus placing healthcare professionals and patients at considerable risk for infection and serious bodily harm.
“These are extremely serious allegations and ones that we do not make lightly,” said lead attorney Michael Avenatti of Eagan Avenatti, LLP, the law firm representing the Plaintiffs. “Kimberly-Clark needs to immediately recall these gowns and come clean with the FDA, CDC, healthcare professionals and the general public. The risks associated with continued concealment of the truth are far too great.”
According to the Complaint, Kimberly-Clark has knowingly misled the medical community, regulators and the general public about the safety of the Surgical Gowns and even after learning of multiple test failures, failed to alert the FDA, healthcare professionals and patients. As stated in the Complaint, tests of numerous random samples from separate manufacturing lots showed that the gowns failed to meet the AAMI Level 4 standards, with many of the gowns experiencing catastrophic failures that allowed liquid, bacterial and viral pathogens to penetrate the gowns. Instead of recalling the gowns and disclosing the truth, the company concealed what it knew and continued promoting, marketing and selling the gowns by stating they were impermeable, even going so far as to recommend that the gowns be used when treating patients with serious infectious diseases, including Ebola.
The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $500 million and is brought on behalf of lead Plaintiff and well respected surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., F.A.C.S., together with approximately 500,000 others similarly situated. Dr. Shahinian is an experienced skull base surgeon in California and is internationally recognized as one of the first surgeons in the world to use and pioneer endoscopic skull base surgery. He received the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Innovation Award in 2008, 2011 and 2012 for his work in the field of medical technology.
“Kimberly-Clark’s actions of concealing the truth about their Surgical Gowns and continuing to market them as impermeable is unconscionable,” said Dr. Shahinian. “This conduct has placed physicians, healthcare workers and patients at risk of being unknowingly exposed to harmful bacteria, viruses and illness, including Ebola. This is a very serious matter and deserves the immediate attention of regulators and the medical community.”
About Eagan Avenatti, LLP
Michael J. Avenatti, Esq. is a founding partner of Eagan Avenatti, LLP, a firm of trial attorneys that specialize in litigating a variety of complex civil litigation in courts throughout the United States. With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco, Eagan Avenatti, LLP and its attorneys have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for plaintiffs nationwide.