Consumer alleges saline enema led to rental failure

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Aug. 5, 2015, 2:07pm


A Catasauqua man is suing a Virginia manufacturer of personal health-care products, alleging injuries suffered from using one of the company's products.

George Farley filed a lawsuit July 14 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania against C.B. Fleet Company, Inc. of Lynchburg, Va., alleging failure to warn of the hazards of the product, a defectively designed product, negligence, breach of express and implied warranties, fraud and deceit, and violation of Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

According to the complaint, Farley, 58, bought and used a product known as Fleet saline enema in June 2013 with the intention of gaining relief from constipation as the product is marketed as a laxative for the relief of occasional constipation. The suit says a short time after using the product Farley felt lethargic, weak and was diagnosed with acute renal failure. Moreover, in July 2013, he learned from his doctors the renal injury was the result of using the defendant's saline enema product, the lawsuit states.

The suit states the product's packaging contained inadequate warnings related to kidney damage and renal failure at the time it was used by Farley. Additionally, while a contraindication for use without prior consultation with a physician for those 65 years or older was included with the product when Farley used it, the condition was changed to 55 years or older at some point after he used it. The FDA also issued a safety alert warning of possible serious kidney injury from the use of saline enema six months after Farley endured the renal injury, the suit says.

The suit faults the defendant with failing to accompany its saline enema product with adequate warnings about all possible side effects and the severity of them, conduct reliable tests to determine the products safety as a laxative or bowel cleanser, provide proper instructions on dosing and required hydration, or accompany the product with information that alternative bowel cleansing products may be more effective and safer. The complaint says at the time Farley brought the product the defendant expressly warranted that it was safe and provided relief without pain, in addition to impliedly warranted that it was of merchantable quality and reasonably fit to be used for ordinary purposes by people in Farley's age group.

The plaintiff alleges as result of the defendant willfully and intentionally disregarding his individual rights and health he has and will continue to suffer permanent pain, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, earning capacity and loss of enjoyment in life.

Farley seeks damages of more than $75,000, plus attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorney Brian J. McCormick of Ross Feller Casey in Philadelphia, and Andres F. Alonso and David B. Krangle of Alonso Krangle in Melville.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 5:15-cv-03911-LS.

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