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Synthes Executives Sentenced to Prison

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U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis has sentenced three former Synthes Inc., executives to prison for being actively involved with the illegal promotion and clinical testing of the company’s Norian bone cement used by surgeons during back surgeries. Three patients died on the operating table during the procedures.

The former president of Synthes USA, Michael Huggins, 54, was sentenced to nine months. Thomas Higgins, 55, the former leader of the company’s spine division, was also sentenced to nine months, while the man in charge of regulatory affairs, John Walsh, 48, was sentenced to five months. All three will each pay $100,000 in fines.

A fourth defendant, Richard Bohner, 56, former vice president of operations, was not sentenced during the hearing because one of his attorneys collapsed, hit his head on a table, and was transported to a nearby hospital, before he could make the case of why Bohner should only get probation.

The Philly Inquirer reported that a former Synthes doctor called the unauthorized bone-cement trial “human experimentation because of the relatively ad hoc process and because patients and some surgeons were not given the information required to make an informed choice.” While Judge Davis called the behavior of executives “shameful” and told Huggins “You are being punished for the decisions you made and personally participated in.” disclaimer: This article: Synthes Executives Sentenced to Prison was posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 8:45 pm at and is filed under Medical Device Lawsuits.

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