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Synthes' Deadly Decision to Test Norian XR Bone Cement on People

Posted by Michael A. D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Sep 19, 2012 in Product Liability

Fortune magazine has posted on its blog an in-depth story, "Bad to the bone: A medical horror story," about the immoral and criminal decision by medical device company Synthes to illegally test a bone cement on people, resulting in a still unknown number of deaths.  

Fortune writer Mina Kimes explains, "...this is a story about a company that repeatedly ignored evidence of potential lethal consequences.  Interviews with more than 20 former employees and surgeons involved in the Norian project, hundreds of pages of court transcripts, and company documents submitted in the case reveal that Synthes not only disregarded multiple warnings that it was flouting the rules, but also brushed off scientists' cautions that the cement could cause fatal blood clots."  

In late 2011, 4 Synthes executives involved in this conspiracy received prison sentences ranging from five to nine months.  They have completed those sentences; meanwhile, as described in the Fortune story, many relatives of those killed in the Norian bone cement debacle remain in the dark about what happened to their family members.

Synthes is the world's largest maker of implants to mend bone fractures, and also produces surgical tools and advanced biomaterials.  Its chairman is one of the richest men in the world.

This is another example of what has become an all-too-familiar story of a greedy medical device company elevating corporate values over human values by prioritizing profits over people.

Though the criminal cases have concluded, civil actions for wrongful death against Synthes employees behind this conspiracy are underway and the factual basis for successful product liability claims against the company have been well-established. 

D'Amico & Pettinicchi's Waterbury personal injury attorneys are actively pursuing product liability litigation against Synthes for plate fractures, as well evaluating and accepting claims against the company concerning wrongful deaths caused by Norian XR bone cement.