A major medical products firm has joined the ranks of consumers suing the Triad Group Inc., a Wisconsin company accused of supplying potentially contaminated wipes blamed for illnesses and death.
Smith & Nephew Inc., a global medical device and equipment supplier with offices in the U.S., argues in a lawsuit that Triad’s well-publicized troubles have cost the company $3.2 million in lost inventory and more in legal fees to defend against claims from victims.
“Triad failed to exercise ordinary care to prevent any defective condition which would render its products unsafe for their intended uses,” said the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. district court in Tennessee. In the U.S. Smith & Nephew operates as a Delaware corporation with principle offices in Memphis.
Triad Group had a contract with Smith & Nephew to supply products including the firm's SKIN-PREP Protective Wipes, PERI-PREP Protective Wipes and UNI-SOLVE Adhesive Remover Wipes, among others.
Smith & Nephew’s suit seeks redress for breach of contract, negligence, unfair trade practices and “conversion,” or theft, of a $75,000 towel prep pad machine.
Smith & Nephew argues that it paid for the machine, used to make medical wipes, and that Triad refused to return it after Smith & Nephew terminated the contract.
The Triad Group and its sister firm, H&P Industries, both of Hartland, Wis., were shut down by federal regulators and court officials in April after a global recall of multiple medical products, including wipes, swabs and pads, because of potential bacterial contamination.
At least 10 lawsuits have been filed by consumers and their families across the nation alleging victims were injured or killed by infections caused by contaminated pads. Some of the lawsuits also target Smith & Nephew, saying the firm should have better monitored the products it distributed.
Triad officials have said no direct link has been established between potential contamination in their products and consumer harm.