The families of two John Muir Medical Center patients have filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against Synthes Inc. and four former executives for an illegal clinical trial in which surgeons injected bone cement into the spines of Ryoichi Kikuchi and Barbara Marcelino, who then died on the operating table.
The two patients, who were 83, died after their blood pressure dropped and doctors could not revive them. Included in the allegations made against Synthes in the lawsuit are charges of elder abuse and wrongful death.
Synthes has already paid $24 million in penalties and fines to settle criminal charges brought by the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office. Synthes executives Michael Huggins, Thomas Huggins, John Walsh, and Richard Bohner were sent to prison for their roles in promoting the bone cement to doctors, and training physicians in its uses when the cement had not been approved by the FDA for the spinal procedure for which it was being used.
No trial date has been set in the case, and what the lawsuit is seeking has not been specified.
Johnson & Johnson is set to purchase Synthes for $21.3 billion pending the approval of the European Commission, Philly.com reports.