Medtronic Defibrillators

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Seeger Weiss LLP is currently investigating claims against Medtronic, Inc., a Minnesota based company, which is one of the largest medical technology companies in the world. Seeger Weiss is considering filing a class action lawsuit against Medtronic relating to its manufacturing and sales of approximately 87,000 implantable cardioverter defibrillators (“ICDs”) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (“CRT-Ds”), that contain potentially life threatening defects. ICDs and CRT-Ds are surgically-implanted devices that are designed to monitor heart rhythm, and if necessary, shock or pace the heart into normal rhythm when patients suffer rapid, life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances that can lead to cardiac arrest.

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Medtronic Defects

The problems in the industry began to unfold in February 2005 when Medtronic notified doctors for the first time of a defect in approximately 87,000 ICDs and CRT-Ds that were manufactured between April 2001 and December 2003. This defect in the Medtronic devices may cause the defibrillators to short out or rapidly deplete the battery. As a result, if the defibrillator shorts out or the battery is depleted the device will not work when it is needed without any warning. If the devices fail when needed, the risk to the patient is potentially life threatening. The batteries that operate ICDs and CRT-Ds are contained in the implanted device and, therefore, to eliminate the potential defect, the device would have to be surgically removed from the patient and replaced. The surgery necessary to remove the device has many risks.

Defective Medtronic Models

According to the February announcement by Medtronic, over 87,000 of the potentially defective devices have been distributed worldwide with the majority of them, approximately 65,000, implanted in patients in the United States. To date, Medtronic has not recalled the devices and has offered only limited help to patients who have had the devices replaced. The Medtronic defibrillator models at issue in the February 2005 announcement included the following defibrillators manufactured between April 2001 and December 2003:

  • Model 7230 Marquis VR;
  • Model 7274 Marquis DR;
  • Model 7232 Maximo VR;
  • Model 7278 Maximo DR;
  • Model 7277 InSync Marquis;
  • Model 7289 InSync II Marquis;
  • Model 7279 InSync III Marquis;
  • Model 7285 InSync III Protect.

Medtronic Recall

On April 16, 2004, Medtronic announced that it was recalling two heart defibrillators, the Micro Jewell II Model 7223 Cx and the GEM DR Model 7271 ICDs, because they were linked to at least four deaths and one injury. Similar to the ICDs and CRT-Ds at issue in the February announcement, Medtronic said that some of these defibrillators have failed to charge properly, which can result in the late delivery or non-delivery of cardiac shock therapy. The FDA has classified this recall as a Class I recall, which means that the FDA believes there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death. Medtronic said that most of these devices were implanted in 1997 and 1998. About 1,800 are believed to still be in use.

Contact us regarding Medtronic Defibrillators; attorney consultations are free.

Questions and Consultations

If you or a family member is using or has used one of the Medtronic defibrillators at issue and would like to discuss your rights, are interested in more information on Medtronic lawsuits, or if you have information about the cases that you would like to share with us, please fill out the free case evaluation form and a member of Seeger Weiss LLP’s experienced staff will call you to discuss your potential rights concerning Medtronic. Attorney consultations incur no obligation on your part and all initial consultations are free of charge and do not create an attorney-client relationship.

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