Personal Injury Attorneys: Synthes Sued For Death During Bone-Cement Trials

By Joe Messa

Aug 01

Personal injury attorneys have filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of the family of a woman who died after receiving injections of Synthes’s Norian SRS drug. Synthes, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, manufactures medical devices for spinal procedures and implants for the treatment of damaged bones. On Jan. 13, 2003, during bone-cement trials, Lois L. Eskind had Synthes’s Norian SRS drug injected into her spine. The drug was mixed with barium sulfate. Shortly after, the mixture leaked into her venous system. She suffered cardiac arrest and died. The bone-cement clinical trial was not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the time.

In addition to Eskind, two other patients died on the operating table during clinical trials of the bone cement being tested by Synthes. The company failed to warn patients about the potential risks associated with the injections, as well as the fact that the procedure was unapproved. Instead, Synthes illegally promoted the bone-cement to surgeons from 2001 through 2004 and trained them on how to use it to treat unknowing patients. The bone cement had been approved for use elsewhere in the body, but was used illegally in the spines of 200 patients suffering with fractured vertebraes.

Personal Injury Attorneys: Executives Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Bone Cement Trials

Following an investigation into the illegal use of Synthes’s bone cement, four Synthes executives were charged in criminal cases for their roles in the unapproved clinical trials. They were sentenced to serve time ranging from five to nine months in prison last year.

Synthes is the market leader in selling plates and rods to fix broken bones. The company purchased Norian Corp. in 1999 because it had a bone cement approved by the FDA for use on arm bones and portions of the skull. Synthes then promoted the bone cement for use in back operations. They had received reports and warnings that the bone cement could cause blood clots, but ignored those complaints and failed to warn patients of the risk.

Personal Injury Attorneys in Philadelphia and New Jersey

The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving pharmaceutical and medical device injuries. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured by a defective medical device, a negligent medical provider, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.

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About the Author

Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More