A Medical Device Daily

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (Spartanburg, South Carolina) reported that the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina has preliminarily approved an agreement between it and Hillenbrand Industries (Batesville, Indiana) and its Hill-Rom subsidiaries, settling a class-action lawsuit filed by Spartanburg on behalf of similarly situated hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The lawsuit challenged certain pricing practices of Hillenbrand Industries, Hill-Rom Inc. and Hill-Rom Co.

Hillenbrand has agreed to pay $337.5 million in cash to members of the class, and Hillenbrand and its subsidiaries agree to refrain from certain pricing practices consistent with policies Hillenbrand put in place in 2002.

The court also certified a class for settlement purposes, authorized Spartanburg to send notice of the settlement to members of the class, and scheduled a final fairness hearing for June 12. At that hearing, the parties will ask the court for final approval of the settlement. If approved, class members will be sent and must return a proof of claim, release and covenant not to sue to the settlement administrator to receive a distribution from the settlement fund.

Spartanburg was represented by Richard Wyatt Jr., R. Laurence Macon and Todd Stenerson of the offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauser & Feld (Washington/San Antonio, Texas); Gordon Ball of Ball & Scott (Knoxville, Tennessee); John Felder Sr. of Felder & McGee (St. Matthews, South Carolina); and John Felder Jr. and Chad McGowan of McGowan Hood Felder & Johnson (Rock Hill, South Carolina).

Hillenbrand was represented by Richard Drubel, David Boies and Donald L. Flexner of Boies, Schiller & Flexner (Washington/New York), and J. Theodore Gentry of Wyche, Burgess, Freeman & Parham (Greenville, South Carolina).

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