Home >  News >  April, 2017

Jury Says ConMed Subsidiary Made False Claims in Advertising, Awards $12M in Damages

Lexion accused SurgiQuest of engaging in unfair competition.

Published: April 19, 2017

HOT AIR? The name "AirSeal" is misleading, Lexion claimed, because the device can cause air to be sucked into the abdomen.

A jury has awarded $12.2 million in damages against ConMed subsidiary SurgiQuest for making false advertising claims regarding its AirSeal insufflation management system. Lexion, which sells the Insuflow heater/humidifier and the Synergy line of trocars, had accused SurgiQuest of engaging in unfair practices.

ConMed, which acquired SurgiQuest in 2015, a year and a half after the suit was initiated, says it will appeal the verdict.

Lexion accused SurgiQuest of making false claims in 3 areas.

SurgiQuest reps, it said, had created an impression that the AirSeal system could perform essentially the same function as Insuflow, which delivers heated and humidified carbon dioxide to the abdomen during laparoscopic surgery. But, Lexion argued, AirSeal actually puts dry gas into the body during laparoscopic surgery and removes moisture through evaporation inside the abdomen.

Lexion further argued that the name "AirSeal" is misleading, citing evidence that when suction is used, or when carbon dioxide leaks from the abdomen, AirSeal causes air to be sucked into the abdomen. That, it said, alters the concentration of carbon dioxide relative to other gasses in the body cavity, which, according to a SurgiQuest patent, is "typically undesirable for the safety of the patient." A Lexion expert testified that the presence of air may lengthen the time needed for subcutaneous emphysema to resolve and that other complications, including pneumothorax, had occurred with AirSeal.

Finally, Lexion accused SurgiQuest of making false claims about AirSeal's ability to remove surgical smoke from the abdomen. Its expert testified that surgical smoke vents from the top of the AirSeal trocar during surgery, and that the AirSeal filtration system is incapable of removing toxic and carcinogenic gasses in surgical smoke.

The jury awarded Lexion $2.2 million in lost profits and $10 million in punitive damages.

ConMed is "disappointed" and plans to "pursue all post-trial and appellate remedies," says Daniel S. Jonas, ConMed's executive VP of legal affairs The verdict, he says, will have no impact on the availability of the AirSeal system.

Jim Burger


Also in the News...

IV Drip Containing Formaldehyde Instead of Saline Kills Russian Woman, 28
Central Sterile Tech Shoots and Kills Nursing Supervisor at Alabama Hospital
Study Finds Psychosis Drug Amisulpride Reduces Nausea and Vomiting
Design Flaw Could Keep Bair Hugger Warming Blankets From Fully Inflating
Pentax Voluntarily Recalls ED-3490TK Video Duodenoscopes for Design and Labeling Changes
Joint Commission Has Zero Tolerance for Poor Hand Hygiene
Kentucky Plastic Surgeon Arrested for Allegedly Arriving at Hospital Intoxicated

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

Judge Blocks Further Testimony by Victims of the 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

"The emotional impact on the jurors has been visible to the court," judge writes in his ruling.

Compounding Pharmacy Owner Barry Cadden Acquitted of Murder

Jurors delivered a mixed verdict today in the trial of the former president of the New England Compounding Center.

Former Head of Sales Testifies NECC President Knew His Company Was to Blame for Tainted Steroids Outbreak

Ron Ronzio told jurors that as soon as they got word that a patient was ill after being injected with an NECC steroid, president Barry Cadden "knew right away it was us."