Widower files wrongful death claim against Octapharma USA over death tied to Octagam

By Jon Campisi | Dec 2, 2013

The widower of a woman who died during the winter of 2011 as a result of health

complications relating to treatments for multiple sclerosis has filed a civil suit against the manufacturer of an immunoglobulin that the plaintiff contends caused the deceased woman’s problems.

Raymond Sieger, of Levittown, Bucks County, is suing Octapharma USA Inc. over the Nov. 13, 2011, death of his wife, Susan G. Sieger.

The 55-year-old woman, who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the early 1990s, had received periodic infusions of a medication called Octagam.

In early July 2010, days after having one of her intravenous infusions, Susan Sieger was discovered with slurred speech and unable to move her upper and lower extremities.

She was eventually taken by helicopter to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where she was admitted to the stroke unit after it was discovered that she had suffered a stroke, the record shows.

The woman spent eight days in the hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility; she was subsequently transferred to a skilled nursing facility because she could no longer care for herself.

In August of that year, the defendant initiated a voluntary market withdrawal of selected lots of Octagam as a result of an increased number of stroke events experienced by patients who had received Octagam infusions, the lawsuit states.

The Octagam that had been administered to Susan Sieger included Octagam from the lots that were selected for voluntary withdrawal, the suit claims.

The following month, the record shows, the defendant voluntarily withdrew all Octagam in the United States.

Octapharma USA eventually determined that the cause of the strokes was procoagulant impurities that had been introduced as part of the manufacturing process, or were otherwise associated with the manufacturing process, according to the complaint.

The plaintiff’s wife suffered a stroke as a direct result of the administration of defective Octagam, the suit claims.

The complaint states that before her death, Susan Sieger suffered from sepsis, urinary tract infections, bullous pemphigoid, acute renal failure, decubitus ulcers, pneumonia, c-difficile infection, deep vein thrombosis, osteomyelitis, hypovolemia and septic shock.

During her last days, the suit says, Susan Sieger experienced physical pain and mental anguish, she was forced to undergo rehabilitative and other treatments, procedures, care and therapy, and she incurred various expenses for her medical attention.

The complaint accuses the defendant of placing into the stream of commerce a defective and unreasonably dangerous product.

The suit contains counts of strict liability, breach of warranty, negligence and wrongful death.

The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $75,000.

Raymond Sieger is being represented by Philadelphia attorneys Clifford E. Haines and James A. Wells of Haines & Associates.

The suit was filed at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Nov. 27.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-06922-JHS. 

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