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Split ruling goes against Duke in tainted instruments case

The Herald Sun, February 12, 2013

A divided 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel sided Monday with an insurance company against Duke University in a lawsuit spawned by a surgical-sterilization mix-up. The 2-1 ruling brushed aside Duke's contention that insurer Mitsui Sumitomo should pay up to $6 million to cover settlement costs the university incurred after personnel at two Duke-controlled hospitals used hydraulic fluid to wash surgical instruments.The hydraulic fluid made its way onto Duke's surgical instruments through what university lawyer Charles Holton has termed "a somewhat unbelievable chain of events."