Litigation News

An independent resource on litigation related to recall of drugs and personal injuries resulting from prescription medication.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Medtronic Sprint Fidelis defibrillator recall

After Guidant recalled its defibrillators, one would assume that other companies will also learn a lesson. It turns out that greed is a powerful emotion and that is what is evident in the case of Medtronic, which clearly knew the design faults in its defibrillator, but did not disclose the information as long as it could.

After a long delay, the compoany is now telling doctors to stop using a crucial component because it is likely to have a defect that has caused malfunctions in hundreds of patients and may have contributed to as many as five deaths. The faulty component is an electrical “lead,” or a wire (Sprint Fidelis) that connects the heart to a defibrillator.

What happens next?

If you or a loved one has this lead, you are in trouble. It is more dangerous to replace than the device itself. So should you replace it? Tough question. If it hasn't given trouble, the temptation is to leave it alone, but since it has failed so often, what if it fails for you too? Something that you need to think and decide after consulting your doctor.

If you think Medtronic is sorry for causing you trouble, think again. The company will only pay for replacement if it is proven to be defective and just $800 in medical expenses (anyone who has ever gone to the hospital for heart trouble knows that just a consultation with the cardiologist costs that much). If you want to take it out because you feel that it may go bad in the future, the company says, you are on your own.

How to sue Medtronic?

In other words, the company wants to be sued by you so that you can get money to pay for changing the lead. Actually, the process of lawsuits has already been started by the victims. Leonard Stavish and Kelly Liusi have filed a lawsuit alleging that the company knew of the defects but did not issue a warning. It would be no surprise if this results in class action lawsuit. For you, apart from consulting your doctor, you must also seek an appointment with an attorney specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury.

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