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Pa. execs get prison for fatal bone cement trial

Pa. medical firm ex-officials get prison for unapproved trial of bone cement that left 3 dead By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ' Three former executives of a Pennsylvania medical devices company have been sentenced to prison for unapproved medical trials that left three people dead.

Former Synthes (SIN'-theez) North America President Michael Huggins, of West Chester, Pa., and former Senior Vice President Thomas B. Higgins, of Berwyn, received nine-month prison terms. Ex-Director of Regulatory Affairs John Walsh, of Coatesville, was on the job for less time and received a five-month prison term.

They are among the first company leaders sent to prison after pleading guilty to misdemeanors as "responsible corporate officers."

U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis calls their actions "egregious."

Prosecutors say they bypassed safety rules and let surgeons test bone cement in frail patients even though animals had died in earlier tests.

Vice President Richard Bohner's sentencing was postponed indefinitely Monday after his lawyer became ill.

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