The AP reports, “Medtronic said Thursday it has agreed to pay $268 million to settle US lawsuits and claims related to its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads which it recalled three years ago.” Last year, the company “estimated that at least 13 people may have died because of the problem.” Over “250,000 Sprint Fidelis leads were implanted in patients before the recalls. Some patients needed new surgery to remove the wires, although Medtronic and heart experts said most patients should not have the leads removed because of the risks involved in the procedure.”
Bloomberg News reports, “Medtronic said it’s resolving claims that wires connecting implantable Sprint Fidelis defibrillators to patients’ hearts were defective…the company halted sales of the so-called defibrillator leads in October 2007 after they were linked to users’ deaths.” The settlement “will provide an average payout of more than $33,000 to patients who have defibrillators with wires that have broken or are considered likely to break.” Company officials estimate “that 170,000 people worldwide still have defibrillators with the Sprint Fidelis leads inside them.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, “The settlement announced Thursday covers some 8,100 personal injury lawsuits in both federal and state courts over Medtronic’s popular Sprint Fidelis lead, which was implanted in some 235,000 people when the company recalled the device after a small number fractured.” The “malfunction could cause the defibrillator to stop working or to inappropriately shock patients — a frightening and uncomfortable experience, but usually not life-threatening.” The San Antonio Business Journal, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the Wall Street Journal also report the story.
From the American Association for Justice news release.