Guidant settlement for recalled defibrillators and pacemakers

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted July 16, 2007


Boston Scientific, which acquired Guidant Corp in 2006, announced an agreement to settle all pending federal lawsuits filed as a result of recalled Guidant defibrillators and pacemakers.  The total value of the settlement is $195 million, which will resolve approximately 4,000 lawsuits.

About 100,000 Guidant defibrillators and pacemakers were recalled in 2005 after it was disclosed that a product defect could cause the device to fail if it is needed to deliver lifesaving shocks to the heart.  Although Guidant became aware of the problems in 2002, they did not issue a recall until 2005, permitting thousands of individuals to have the potentially defective devices implanted.

The Guidant lawsuits included in this settlement involve cases filed for individuals who had their defibrillator or pacemaker removed out of fear that it may not function when needed.  Previously Guidant settled some cases which were brought for individuals who died as a result of the defective heart device.

Boston Scientific announced the Guidant settlement agreement about two weeks before the first Federal trials were scheduled to being.  They were unsuccessful in their motion to dismiss the claims last month and a court ruling held that the company could be held liable for punitive damages.

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