updated 12/04/2007 AT 7:30 PM ET
•originally published 12/04/2007 AT 4:20 PM ET
Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly have sued the manufacturer of the drug Heparin, according to court documents filed in Cook County, Ill.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, claims the Baxter Healthcare Corporation, makers of the anti-coagulant Heparin, failed to properly label vials of its product and that the 10-units-per-milliliter vial and the 10,000-units-per-milliliter are virtually identical.
The Quaids assert that the company knew of previous dosage mix-ups, yet failed to recall shipments of the drug or properly warn hospitals of the dangers.
The couple’s children, Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, were born Nov. 8. They were hospitalized Nov. 20 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after accidentally being given 1,000 times the recommended dose of Heparin on Nov. 18.
The twins “suffered and will continue to suffer injuries” from the accident, the suit alleges.
“On a negligence scale of one to 10, Baxter Corporation gets a 10,” the Quaids’ lawyer, Susan E. Loggans, tells PEOPLE. “They knew medication errors due to product labeling resulted in death but failed to recall the drug. Each year there’s 1.5 million medication errors in America – it is a national epidemic.”
A spokeswoman for Baxter, Erin Gardiner, tells PEOPLE: “We have not been served with a lawsuit related to this incident, so we cannot comment on the lawsuit itself.
Gardiner added: “This is not a product issue, the issue here is improper use of a product. Heparin is one of the most commonly used generic drugs in a hospital setting manufactured by seven companies in standard vials. It plays a vital role in the treatment of thousands of patients everyday when administered and used properly.”
In terms of the labeling, “Baxter strives to clearly differentiate products and dosages, but no amount of differentiation will replace the value of clinicians carefully reading and reviewing a drug name and dose.”
Suit Filed Tuesday
The babies “were very critical for a while,” according to Loggans. And while the infants have recovered and “everything looks good,” the Quaids want to help prevent future accidents, she said.
Loggans added that three children in Indiana died from a similar mix-up.