A multi-district litigation (MDL) has been commenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, against GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Poligrip, and Proctor & Gamble, maker of Fixodent denture adhesive.
This type of procedural vehicle is designed to combine the dozens of cases filed against the defendants from across the United State into one action in one Court.
Plaintiffs claim that they have been exposed to toxic levels of zinc, an ingredient of Poligrip and Fixodent, by the continual, daily use of the products. Plaintiffs say that there was no warning of the risks of the serious health conditions that can result from too much zinc accumulation in the body. Accumulation of zinc can lead to significant neurological problems.
The recommended daily allowance of zinc for men is 11 mg., for women, 8 mg. The maximum thought to be safely tolerated is 40 mg. per day. Some denture products have been found to contain up to 330 mg. per day.
The wife and daughter of Rodney Urbanek of Miami, Florida, have filed the first wrongful death lawsuit alleging paralysis and death caused by toxic Poligrip.
It's safe to say that there will be a battle of expert witnesses as the Urbanek's try to satisfy their burden of proof, including demonstrating the cause of death, and the defendants defend their products as benign. "The case reports mentioned in the media involved excessive use or misuse of denture adhesive on a chronic basis. When the product is used as directed, the amount of zinc that might be swallowed is not harmful," said the manufacturer.