Sonova to add $209 mln to provisions after fine

ZURICH, April 26 (Reuters) - Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova said its U.S. subsidiary would increase claims provisions by 198 million Swiss francs ($209 mln) after a U.S. court found the unit had supplied a faulty device.

The increase brings the company’s total provisions for such claims to 250 million Swiss francs.

Sonova, which said a further 27 similar cases were pending, declined to specify how the increased provisions would affect its 2012-2013 results.

Sonova also said it would appeal the decision from earlier this month, when a U.S. court awarded $7.25 million in damages against its Advanced Bionics subsidiary in a case brought by a patient whose cochlear implant malfunctioned.

The company said the damages award was unexpectedly high, as it included punitive damages, which it said it would contest. The device in question was part of a voluntary recall issued by Advanced Bionics in March 2006.

Sonova bought Advanced Bionics in 2009 in a bid to increase its focus on the inner ear. ($1 = 0.9474 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Martin de Sa’Pinto; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)