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CryoLife settles 5 product liability lawsuits, but says one insurer will not pay part of settlement.

CryoLife, Inc., Atlanta, GA, announced on July 11 that it has settled 5 product liability cases pending against the company on charges of distributing tainted tissues Three additional cases have been dismissed, the company said. CryoLife said 2 of the 3 insurance companies who issued "claims-made" policies to the company for the 2002-2003 year have confirmed coverage for the first two layers of coverage totaling $15 million.

The news was not all good, however. One of the insurance companies indicated it will not pay part of a product liability suit which CryoLife admitted could have a "material effect" on its financial position. The company covering the last $10 million of the remaining insurance has indicated it intends to exclude certain cases under its policy, which may have the effect of decreasing the total coverage available, CryoLife reported.

In a press release CryoLife said: "Based on an analysis of the product liability now pending against the company, settlement negotiations to date, the position taken by the upper layer excess carrier and advice from counsel, company management believes that a portion of the expense of resolving these cases will be the paid by the company [CryoLife]. At this time, the company cannot determine the amount of payments required to resolve these cases, which could have a material adverse effect on the company's financial position."

CryoLife was hit with 7 separate lawsuits in 2002 over the death of a Minnesota man following knee surgery that was attributed to tainted tissue the patient received during the operation. The tissue was distributed by CryoLife. (Transplant News, July 27, 2002)

Contact: Joseph Schepers - (770) 419-3355; Web site: www.cryolife.com
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Comment:CryoLife settles 5 product liability lawsuits, but says one insurer will not pay part of settlement.
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 25, 2003
Words:274
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