Sonova Holding AG announced that its Advanced Bionics (AB) cochlear implant subsidiary signed agreements settling the majority of current liability claims related to product malfunctions, eliminating much the uncertainty surrounding the financial impact outstanding civil suits would have on its financial results over the coming year.
Among the claims was a highly publicized verdict awarding $7.2 million to to the family of Breanna Sadler of Louisville, Kentucky, who claimed that a malfunctioning cochlear implant had sent the seven-year-old girl into convulsions after moisture seeped into the device. Advanced Bionics had recalled many of the devices that hadn’t been implanted following its discovery of a defective component that allowed the moisture seepage. But post-implant failures have prompted other additional lawsuits that the company announced it settled out of court this week.
AB had appealed the size of the judgment in the Breanna Sadler case, where the jury awarded $6.25 million in punitive damages in addition to $994,000 in compensatory damages. AB said in its announcement that the settlement resolves the litigation in that case and others, but that the parties agreed not to reveal details or the amount of the settlement.