Jury Awards $7.2 Million for Defective Device

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal court jury in Kentucky has awarded a family $7.24 million in damages after a hearing implant shocked a young girl.

The jury in Louisville hit Advanced Bionics of Valencia, Calif., with $6.25 million in punitive damages and $994,000 in compensatory damages on Wednesday. A Hardin County family sued Advanced Bionics in 2011 after their daughter's cochlear (COKE-leer) implant malfunctioned when moisture seeped into the device.

The damages award is the third highest in the western district of Kentucky since 1998.

The Swiss parent company of Advanced Bionics, Sonova, says it will consider appealing.

A cochlear device is sometimes called a bionic ear. The device is surgically implanted into the skull and provides a sense of sound to the profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

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