SEATTLE - When Reba Golden hurt her back, she came to Seattle for a spinal surgery but died on the operating table. Joan Bryant hurt her back in a car accident and underwent a spinal surgery in 2009 but also died during the operation.
Like others before them, Golden and Bryant died after their surgeon injected bone cement into their spine and some of the material leaked into their blood stream, causing massive clotting.
They were never told Norian bone cement was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Instead, Norian and its parent company, Synthes, used surgeons in what one doctor called "human experimentation." Prosecutors say the aim was to skirt a costly regulatory process.
The families filed lawsuits against Dr. Jens Chapman, the companies, University of Washington and Washington state.
The first trial begins in June.