Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The (GA)

April 1, 2003
Section: Business
Edition: Home; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Page: D4

GEORGIA STOCKS: CryoLife settles suit that led to FDA tissue recall


CryoLife (CRY) Monday said it settled the lawsuit that led to a recall of some of the human tissue it processed. Even so, its shares lost 30 cents to $6.85 on an off day for the stock market.

The settlement is with the family of Brian Lykins, who died in November 2001 after receiving tissue processed by CryoLife.

The settlement terms were not disclosed.

"We signed a confidentiality agreement," said D. Ashley Lee, the company's chief financial officer.

Lykins' death after knee surgery led to an investigation of CryoLife's processing center and an August recall order by the Food and Drug Administration.

Since then, the agency has lifted restrictions on tissue processing by CryoLife.

Lee said there are about 20 other product liability cases against the company.

"We are moving forward on trying to get some of the other product liability cases settled," he added.

Lee said CryoLife has $25 million in insurance to cover the settlement of suits filed in 2002. He said the company thinks that is sufficient to cover the other claims.

Don Keenan, an Atlanta attorney who represented the Lykins family in their suit against CryoLife, disagreed with Lee's assessment.

He called the $25 million "a mere drop in the bucket considering the total amount of outstanding lawsuits."

Keenan has filed two other cases against CryoLife.

Copyright 2003 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution