June 1998 AAOS Report

Academy wins pedicle screw summary motions

The Academy, Scoliosis Research Society and North American Spine Society, have been granted four summary judgment motions in the first set of pedicle screw cases to reach local federal district courts early last month. The first summary judgment was awarded May 1 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, in the case of Mary Coleman, et al., vs. Danek Medical, Inc. et al. It was one of 53 suits naming the medical associations that were remanded to the local courts by Judge Louis Bechtle in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where more than 5,000 civil actions against manufacturers, physicians and medical associations had been consolidated for pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs allege the medical associations engaged in a "conspiracy to defraud by active concealment." The suit alleged the medical associations conspired with manufacturers of bone screws to conduct continuing medical education seminars designed to promote pedicle screw fixation. Attorneys for the medical associations argued that there was no casual connection between the plaintiffs' injury and anything the associations did or what was said or not said at their continuing medical education seminars.

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