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California authorities are investigating a local hospital accused of using experimental Stryker (NYSE:SYK) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) bone growth proteins on patients without their consent.

Lawyers for the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the medical device companies and the hospital claim that at least 17 patients were involved in a secret "research project" at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona, Calif., in which they were randomized to receive experimental treatment with Stryker's OP-1 Putty without their knowledge.

Although the hospital originally claimed that its investigational research board had not granted approval for any experimental procedures, documents produced by Stryker during the course of the lawsuit suggested otherwise, according to the plaintiff's law firm.

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