SOURCE: Schiffrin & Barroway

July 14, 2005 16:00 ET

After Filing National Class Action Lawsuit Against Guidant, Inc., Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP Now Investigating Claims Against Medtronic, Inc. and Medtronic USA, Inc. for Defective Heart

Defibrillators, Some of Which Can Cause Serious Adverse Health Consequences or Death

RADNOR, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 14, 2005 -- The following statement was issued today by the law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP:

The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, which filed a national class action lawsuit this week on behalf of all persons implanted with recalled Guidant (NYSE: GDT) heart defibrillators, is now investigating similar claims against Medtronic, Inc., and Medtronic USA, Inc., (NYSE: MDT). Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP is investigating Medtronic for their role in manufacturing and distributing faulty implantable cardioverter defibrillators ("ICDs"). On February 11, 2005 Medtronic, Inc., voluntarily advised physicians about a potential battery shorting mechanism that may occur in a subset of ICDs and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) models. In a letter to physicians, Medtronic reported that several batteries have experienced rapid depletion due to this shorting action. If shorting occurs, battery depletion can take place within a few hours to a few days, after which there is loss of device function.

The class action lawsuit filed by Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP against Guidant seeks to (1) inform the public that users and consumers of Guidant ICDs are at an increased risk of harm and/or death, (2) establish a medical monitoring fund so that every consumer may be tested and treated for the adverse effects of Guidant ICDs (3) reimburse monies paid for the product, and (4) provide compensation to all victims for personal injuries and death. A potential class-action lawsuit against Medtronic would seek similar remedies.

On June 16, 2005, Guidant announced that it was recalling 50,000 faulty defibrillators due to potentially life threatening malfunctions in 6 different devices. At least two patients with Guidant defibrillators have died, and Guidant has acknowledged its devices have failed at least 45 times. On June 24, 2005, Guidant advised that it was recalling an additional 5 devices. In sum, approximately 100,000 people may be affected by the defective Guidant heart devices. The following devices are affected under FDA recall classification:

VENTAK PRIZM 2 DR, Model 1861, manufactured on or before April 16, 2002
CONTAK RENEWAL, Model H135, manufactured on or before August 26, 2004
CONTAK RENEWAL 2, Model H155, manufactured on or before August 26, 2004
An automatic implantable defibrillator is a device used to control tachyarrhythmia (irregular heartbeat and rapid rate). The implantable defibrillator is similar to a pacemaker in that it is designed to correct arrhythmias. But while a pacemaker is used primarily to correct slow heart rates, an implantable defibrillator detects and corrects both fast and slow heart rates. The device can deliver a strong electrical shock to the heart in order to restore a normal heartbeat.

Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP is a nationally recognized law firm active in pharmaceutical drug and device litigation, pending in federal and state courts across the nation. Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP has taken an active leadership role in drug and device litigation, including the Hormone Therapy litigation currently pending in Pennsylvania state court, where Schiffrin & Barroway is appointed lead liaison counsel, supervising an active docket of almost 1500 cases. For more information on Schiffrin & Barroway, please visit

If you or anyone you know is implanted with or has been implanted with one of the Guidant defibrillators at issue, you/they may be members of the class described above. Please contact us at:

Contact Information

    Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP

    Tobias L. Millrood, Esq.
    (Email Contact)

    Steven D. Resnick, Esq.
    (Email Contact)

    280 King of Prussia Road
    Radnor, PA 19087
    1-888-348-6787 (toll free)