The families of 2 patients who died on the operating table during spine surgery involving the use of Synthes’ Norian XR bone cement are suing the company and 4 former executives for wrongful death and elder abuse, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The lawsuit, filed in California Superior Court, was brought by the families of Ryoichi Kikuchi and Barbara Marcelino, both 83. They died after surgeons injected the bone cement during their procedures, but there is no definitive link between their deaths and use of the cement as a cause of death, according to the newspaper.
Kikuchi’s and Marcelino’s blood pressure plunged after the injections and doctors could not being them back, according to the Inquirer.
Synthes, which is being acquired by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) for $21.3 billion, paid paid $22.5 million in fines and was forced to sell off the Norian subsidiary to settle federal criminal charges that it ran an off-label promotion scheme for the Norian XR cement. Kensey Nash (NSDQ:KNSY) later paid $22 million for the entire Norian product line, agreeing to manufacture the Norian products for exclusive distribution by Synthes. Kensey Nash is also named in the patients’ families’ lawsuit, according to the Inquirer.
"The victims’ families are furious and deeply hurt over their recent discovery of the true cause of their loved ones’ deaths," Gregory Rueb, the lawyer representing the families, told the newspaper. "I have never seen such despicable conduct by a corporation so desperate to make profits and maintain a competitive edge at the expense of human lives."
Bovie Medical settles suits against former Bovie Canada head
Bovie Medical (NYSE:BVX) said it will take a $737,000 writedown and pay $668,000 to the former head of the Bovie Canada arm it formed after acquiring Lican Developments for $350,000 in cash in 2006.
The Melville, N.Y.-based electro-surgery device maker said it will also reimburse Lican founder and president, Steve Livneh, for any unpaid expenses incurred while he was serving as a consultant to Bovie. The deal also calls for Bovie to give Livneh the intellectual property behind its Modular Ergonomic Grip; an exclusive license to sell its Seal-N-Cut device in China; royalties of 3% on sales of the Seal-N-Cut device outside China; and a 1-time payout of 5% of the sale price should it unload the Seal-N-Cut device.
In return Livneh will kick 3% royalties on Chinese sales of the device back to Bovie; a 5% royalty on any sale of the technology covered by the transferred IP; and 3% royalties on sales of devices stemming from that IP, excluding the RF Skin Resurfacing and Tip-On-Tube products.
Aside from the 4th-quarter writedown, Bovie said it also incurred a $194,000 charge for the transfer of inventory and molds to Livneh.
NuVasive slaps former sales execs with breach-of-contract suit
NuVasive (NSDQ:NUVA) sued 2 former sales executives, James Greene and William Vanlandingham, who jumped ship for Rival Lanx Inc. in February, accusing them of violating non-compete agreements.
"On or around October, 2011, Lanx began a raid on NuVasive employees across
the country," according to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Texas. "This raid started in Western New York, where 5 NuVasive salespeople left NuVasive to work for Lanx, and a top consulting surgeon for NuVasive announced that he had become a consultant for Lanx. Two months later, 3 top California directors and managers were recruited from NuVasive to work for Lanx. After learning of Lanx’s raid on its California employees, NuVasive sent Lanx a cease and desist letter. Lanx responded dismissively, and continued to raid NuVasive employees."
"[I]n late 2011 and early 2012, Lanx targeted NuVasive’s Texas workforce, and started recruiting Mr. Greene, Mr. Vanlandingham, and others, to join the company," according to the lawsuit, which seeks legal fees, injunctions barring further contract breaches, damages, punitive damages, and pre- and post-judgment interest.
Validity trial to go forward in Pitt v Varian case
The University of Pittsburgh followed up its $37 million jury verdict against Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) with another legal win, after a Pennsylvania judge rules that a trial weighing the patent’s validity will go forward in April. Read more
FDA nixes Washington Legal Foundation’s petition on 510(k)s
The FDA denies a citizen’s petition from the Washington Legal Foundation demanding that it ignore the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine for reforming the 510(k) protocol. Read more
Zecotek Imaging sues Saint-Gobain, Philips over crystal patents
Zecotek Imaging Systems, a subsidiary of Zecotek Photonics (CVE:ZMS) , sues Saint-Gobain (EPA:SGO) and Philips Healthcare (NYSE:PHG), alleging infringement of a patent covering the methods for growing lutetium fine silicate scintillation crystals used in imaging devices. Read more
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