Biosphere Medical Inc. has tentatively settled a lawsuit alleging the Rockland, Mass., company may have been responsible when a youth in Missouri was permanently injured while doctors used a BioSphere device.
All of the parties involved in the 4-year-old case agreed to keep specific terms of the Sept. 15 settlement confidential. Because the plaintiff, Brett Pingel, is a minor, the settlement still requires approval by a Missouri state district court judge. That decision is expected within 60 days, the company said.
Neither BioSphere nor doctors at St. Louis University Hospital admitted liability and the monetary payment by BioSphere was paid by the company’s product-liability insurer. Attorneys for Pingel reached a similar settlement in late July with Tenant HealthSystem, the parent company of St. Louis University Hospital, with the court approving that deal on Aug. 20.
The lawsuit sought compensatory and punitive damages when Pingel was blinded in both eyes while surgeons used Biosphere’s EmboGold Microspheres during a procedure to treat a benign tumor at the top of the youth’s pharynx. The tumor, known as a juvenile nasal angiofibroma, often causes frequent bleeding which BioSphere polymer beads are designed to reduce prior to surgery.
A trial in the case had been scheduled to begin Oct. 19 before Judge Philip Heagney in St. Louis.