St. Jude Medical Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators Subject to Class Action Lawsuit
Lawsuit Against St. Jude And Abbott Lab. A class-action lawsuit filed in Chicago recently makes startling allegations against St. Jude Medical and its parent company, Abbott Laboratories. The lawsuit claims that St. Jude Medical knew that its class of defibrillators known as Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators (CRT-d) was equipped with defective lithium batteries five years before the company gave notice to its customers about the problem. Although the company claims that the problem is rare, there are almost 400,000 people in the United States who were fitted with one of St. Jude Medical’s devices. That means a substantial portion of the population is at risk for premature death, stroke, or heart attack if the defibrillator fails.
Parker Waichman LLP is Representing Those Injured by Defective St. Jude Medical Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators
Parker Waichman LLP, a national plaintiff’s personal injury law firm, who has staked its reputation on successfully pursuing justice on behalf of people who were harmed, injured or killed by defective products manufactured by massive medical device companies like St. Jude Medical and its successor Abbott Laboratories. Our firm has successfully handled hundreds of defective medical products lawsuit and class actions. To date, we have recovered over $2 billion in financial compensation for damages on behalf of our clients. So, if you or a family member has suffered a severe medical complication or died from a faulty defibrillator or defibrillator battery, call our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Allegations in the Class Action Lawsuit
The allegations contained in the current St. Jude Medical class action lawsuit are fairly straightforward. The lawsuit alleges that St. Jude Medical manufactured CRT-d units to combat various heart conditions. The design of the defibrillator allowed the device to send an electric shock to the heart to speed up the rhythm or slow it down, depending on the singular patient’s needs.
A lithium battery powers the devices. The batteries developed lithium “clusters.” Lithium clusters diminish the power of the battery when they form within the battery cell. These clusters then cause the battery to short circuit. The battery rapidly loses its electrical charge after short-circuiting.
Quite logically, if the battery is without power, it cannot power the defibrillator. As a result, the defibrillator cannot slow the heart (pacemaker) or shock it back into a normal sinus rhythm. People opt to have pacemakers implanted because they can help save their lives. If the device has no power because the battery cell is depleted, the device cannot function. This perilous state could leave the patient suffering from a stroke, heart attack, or cardiac arrest. Consequently, someone could be seriously injured or die from the battery running out of energy without warning.
Battery depletion can occur rapidly. In many cases, the defibrillator battery can run out in as little as 24 hours. A normally functioning battery will give three month’s warning that it is running out. The depletion is slow so that the wearer of the device has the time to schedule a procedure to replace the waning battery. It is quite clear that there is no time to waste if the device that will keep you alive runs out in 24 hours without warning.
The lawsuit accuses St. Jude Medical of knowingly and intentionally concealing information about the battery defect from the public, its board members, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that St. Jude Medical knew in 2011 that there was a problem. However, St. Jude inexplicably waited until 2016 to report the issue. Delayed reporting long endangered over 250,000 lives in the United States and another 400,000 people around the world needlessly.
St. Jude Medical’s willful delay in reporting injured several people. One person died in the United States, and another died overseas as a result of the defective battery in their CRT-d. Additionally, numerous people complained of fainting from the faulty defibrillator.
Another Class Action Lawsuit
A Canadian woman filed a class action lawsuit claiming $800 million in damages. The suit alleges that the battery in her CRT-d ran out unexpectedly and without warning. As a consequence, she suffered from several spells of nearly fainting because her heart beat irregularly without the assistance of the life-saving defibrillator. Approximately 8,000 people across Canada were affected by this problem, and the lawsuit included those people as well as the named plaintiff.
The plaintiff alleges that St. Jude Medical breached a duty of care. The plaintiff stated that St. Jude Medical breached the duty of care it owed to the plaintiff and the 8,000 additional people similarly situated by failing to warn them about the possible defect in the defibrillator battery.
Which Devices Are Affected?
There are three lines of defibrillators affected by the battery problem. These products are also subject to an FDA Class I recall. They are the Fortify, Unify, and Quadra defibrillator lines. Not every device in those lines is subject to recall. The products manufactured between 2010 and 2015 are subject to the recall.
If you think that you might have a device on the list, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately for advice as to how you should combat the problem. Many people elected to use St. Jude Medical’s electronic notification device. This alert will draw the patient’s attention to the battery depletion. The patient must seek immediate medical care if the alert sounds. The FDA considers this situation to be a life-threatening emergency and must be treated as such.
The Evidence against St. Jude Medical is Compelling.
The class action lawsuit filed in Chicago contains allegations that St. Jude Medical knew as far back as 2011 there was a deflation problem with its batteries. The extent of what they knew is astounding. According to the complaint filed in court, St. Jude Medical knew that lithium clustering was shorting out its batteries from its battery supplier in 2011. Also, St. Jude Medical knew about 42 product reviews which complained about premature battery depletion from 2011 to 2014. Additionally, in 2014, St. Jude Medical learned that one person died from having defective batteries and a scientific study confirmed the existence of this problem. St Jude Medical did nothing to treat the problem and effectively sat on their hands until 2016 when they issued a letter to their patients and informed the FDA.
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Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or use our contact form. Our St. Jude Medical defibrillator defect lawyers will aggressively pursue financial compensation on your behalf. You can rely on their experience, skill, knowledge, professionalism, and compassion for their clients to serve you and put you in the best possible position to receive significant financial compensation.
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