Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Jury Sides with Surgeon in Bone Cement Trial

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Jury Sides with Surgeon in Bone Cement Trial

Article excerpt

SEATTLE - A jury has found in favor of a University of Washington surgeon who was sued by the daughter of a patient who died after the doctor used a non-FDA-approved bone cement during the woman's spinal surgery, a lawyer said. In a 10-2 decision after a five-week trial, the jurors reached the decision on Friday that Dr. Jens Chapman did not act below the standard of medical care when he used the Norian bone cement on Reba Golden's back in 2007, according to Rick Friedman, a lawyer for Golden's daughter, Cindy Wilson, who filed the lawsuit.

Golden died on the operating table but Wilson didn't learn until 2012 that the FDA had prohibited the use of Norian for spinal surgeries.

The jury also found that Chapman failed to inform Golden about the risks associated with using Norian but concluded that an informed person would have opted to use the cement anyway, Friedman said.

Wilson also sued Synthes Inc., the maker of Norian, and four company executives, but they reached a confidential settlement with Wilson during the fourth week of the trial, Friedman said.

Wilson said Monday that she's disappointed with the jury decision.

"I never dreamed a jury would exonerate him knowing all the facts in the case, Wilson said. "I never wanted money. I wanted somebody to nail this guy because what he did was wrong.

Tina Mankowski, a spokeswoman for Chapman and the university, said in an email: "The university is very sorry for the loss to the family of Mrs. Golden. We are grateful to the jury for its diligence in reviewing the medical facts and using them to reach its decision.

Mindy Tinsley, a spokeswoman for the DePuy Synthes Franchise said Monday in an email that the company sympathizes "with the Golden family on their loss and added that Synthes is no longer a defendant in the lawsuit and was not a party to the verdict. She did not immediately respond to questions seeking comment on the claims made against Synthes during trial.

Synthes bought California-based Norian and altered one of its bone-cement products to be used on the spines of aging baby boomers who were susceptible to spinal injuries, Friedman told the jury in his opening statement at the trial in King County Superior Court. …

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