Sonova Holding AG, Stäfa, Switzerland, has announced that its US subsidiary Advanced Bionics LLC has signed settlement agreements regarding the majority of current filed and unfiled product liability claims related to cochlear implant malfunctions, including the case of Sadler v Advanced Bionics. The terms of the settlements are in line with the underlying assumptions of the provision for such product liability claims.

According to Sonova, the settlements resolve the majority of the current “Vendor B” claims against Advanced Bionics. The settled claims represent all product liability cases against Advanced Bionics handled by two US law firms. The agreements include cases of minors, which are subject to final court approval. The parties agreed to keep the settlement terms confidential, and the company states that it is in line with the underlying assumptions of the provision for such product liability claims, which covers the costs of existing and expected future claims. Sonova reports that it will continue to provide updates if and when required and relevant.

The AB device in question was part of a voluntary recall by Advanced Bionics that took place in March 2006, prior to the acquisition of Advanced Bionics by Sonova in 2009. The recall related to the feedthrough assembly provided by one (referred to as “Vendor B”) of two approved vendors, affecting some, but not all, HiRes 90K devices manufactured prior to March 2006. The company promptly initiated a voluntary recall of all unimplanted devices that contained the Vendor B feedthrough component and immediately ceased the use of feedthroughs from Vendor B.

The jury in the Sadler v Advanced Bionics case awarded the plaintiff unexpectedly high damages totaling $7.25 million, which was the subject of a pending post-trial motion and a potential appeal.