Judge Considers Settlement As Some Patients Prefer To Opt Out

CLEVELAND (AP) - A federal judge in Cleveland is expected to rule soon on the fairness of a class-action settlement with Texas-based Sulzer Orthopedics over faulty hip and knee replacements.

The company approved the billion-dollar settlement, but a group of 57 patients still wants to opt out and sue separately, which the company says could force it to file for bankruptcy.

In December 2000, the company was forced to recall thousands of artificial joints due to a manufacturing problem that had contaminated some with an oily residue. The substance prevented the new joint from bonding with patients' bones.

Patients who got the faulty implants redone without experiencing complications could each receive about $200,000. The payment is higher for patients who experienced complications.

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