Howmedica Osteonics, Corp. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., No. 10-2383 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Stryker, a manufacturer of medical devices, sued its umbrella insurer XL, seeking coverage for claims stemming from the implantation of expired artificial knees. The dispute concerned the precise "defect" that triggers batch coverage under the Medical Products Endorsement. The district court held that XL was liable under the policy for the entirety of Stryker’s losses on both direct claims brought against Stryker, as well as claims brought against Pfizer that Stryker was obligated to reimburse under an asset purchase agreement. The court found that the items were defective if they were available in Stryker’s inventory for implantation by physicians beyond their shelf-life of five years. The Sixth Circuit affirmed XL’s liability for the full amount of Stryker’s losses and pre-judgment interest. XL’s payment to Pfizer applies to exhaust the policy with respect to the direct claims. The court reversed the holding that the aggregate limit of liability of the XL policy does not apply to the judgments on the direct claims and remanded for determination of what portion, if any, of the total liability for those judgments beyond $15 million represents consequential damages as defined under Michigan contract law.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on July 5, 2012.