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Medtronic Defibrillators
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Medtronic's motion to dismiss device lawsuits denied

Nov 29, 2006 | Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journa

A federal judge denied the motion by Medtronic Inc. to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits related to battery problems with some of the company's implantable cardiac defibrillators.

The lawsuits, which are being heard by the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, seek damages for personal injuries claimed by some of the 87,000 patients who received the devices. The batteries which were found to have a defect that could cause defibrillators to lose their electrical charge in days instead of years were subject to a recall by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2005.

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) is defending itself against about 240 federal lawsuits and 30 more cases in state courts. A company spokesman called the ruling "somewhat unexpected", and told the Business Journal that the company has plans to seek appeal certification.

Fridley-based Medtronic said it believes it has a solid defense.

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