Plaintiffs who complain of injury as a result of receiving defective pedicle bone screws during spinal fusion procedures may press informed consent claims against doctors who did not inform them that federal regulators had not approved the medical devices as safe and effective for surgical implantation, a Superior Court panel announced late Tuesday, overturning the decision taken in the coordinated litigation of dozens of cases.

The unanimous panel, led by Judge John L. Musmanno, handed down a long-awaited decision in Southard v. Temple University Hospital, which was argued to the court in February 1998.