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Lawsuit Alleges Use of Poligrip Proved Deadly

Jan 26, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Poligrip denture cream has been blamed for the death of Miami man.  His wife and daughter have filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, claiming that zinc in Poligrip caused him to become paralyzed and ultimately die.

Scores of people from across the country have also filed lawsuits alleging zinc poisoning from products like Poligrip and Fixodent. Denture cream lawsuits claim that the manufacturers of these products failed to warn about their risks and failed to provide adequate warnings about the zinc in their products, or adequate instructions to prevent deviation from accepted use.

Last fall, the many denture cream lawsuits pending in federal courts were consolidated for centralized and coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Denture Cream Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, before the Honorable Judge Cecilia Altonaga (MDL No. 2051).

According to his family’s lawsuit, Rodney Urbanek had been using Poligrip for 14 years. While he was healthy in 2007, a short 14 months later Urbanek was paralyzed below the waist, confined to a wheelchair and unable to lift his arms. He died in 2007, and his family claims the cause was a toxic level of zinc in his system, brought on by Poligrip.

We’ve long been reporting on the problems linked to zinc-containing denture creams like Poligrip, as well as Fixodent. The human body does need zinc – but only in small amounts. Studies show that consuming at least 50 milligrams of zinc a day for a few months could lead to copper deficiency, which can cause anemia, bone loss, nerve damage and other problems. Ingesting 80 or 100 milligrams or more for months or even years can lead to irreversible damage.

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