National class action certified against Guidant/Boston Scientific



    TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ - In a decision released May 8, 2009, Justice
Cullity of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a national class
action against Guidant Corporation (subsequently purchased by Boston
Scientific) on behalf of a class of 28, 443 individuals for claims relating to
allegedly defective pacemakers. Litigation in the U.S. resulted in a
settlement of $240 million in late 2007 on behalf of approximately 8,000
plaintiffs.
    The Plaintiffs allege that the Guidant pacemakers are inherently
defective and that Guidant knew about the defects in the pacemakers for a
number of years, yet continued to market the pacemakers. The Claim also
alleges that Guidant failed to disclose the defects to patients, health care
providers and the regulatory authorities, including the FDA and Health Canada,
thereby placing the health and well being of the class members in serious
danger.
    In 2005 and 2006, Guidant undertook a series of recalls on a number of
its pacemakers. The Claim seeks damages on behalf of all persons who have been
implanted in Canada with a defective pacemaker. In Canada, 28,433 individuals
were implanted with one of the pacemakers at issue. At least 3,559 patients
have had their pacemaker explanted.

    
    The following models of pacemakers are subject to the action:
    - CONTAK TR: 1241;
    - DISCOVERY: 1174, 1175, 1273, 1274, 1275;
    - DISCOVERY II: 0481, 0981, 1184, 1186, 1187, 1283, 1284, 1285, 1286;
    - INTELIS II: 1384, 1385, 1349, 1483, 1484, 1485, 1499;
    - MERIDIAN: 0476, 0976,1176, 1276;
    - PULSAR: 0470, 0870, 0970, 0972, 1172, 1272;
    - PULSAR MAX: 1170, 1171, 1270;
    - PULSAR MAX II: 1180, 1181, 1280;
    - VIRTUS PLUS II: 1380, 1480;
    - INSIGNIA AVT DDD: 0982;
    - INSIGNIA AVT DR: 1292;
    - INSIGNIA AVT SR: 1192;
    - INSIGNIA AVT SSI: 482;
    - INSIGNIA AVT VDD: 882;
    - INSIGNIA Entra DDD: 0985, 0986;
    - INSIGNIA Entra DR: 1294, 1295, 1296;
    - INSIGNIA Entra SR: 1195, 1198;
    - INSIGNIA Entra SSI: 0484, 0485;
    - INSIGNIA Plus DR: 1297, 1298;
    - INSIGNIA Plus SR: 1194;
    - INSIGNIA Ultra SR: 1190;
    - INSIGNIA Ultra DR: 1290, 1291;
    - NEXUS AVT DDD: 1432;
    - NEXUS AVT DR: 1492;
    - NEXUS AVT SR: 1392;
    - NEXUS AVT SSI: 1328;
    - NEXUS AVT VDD: 1428;
    - NEXUS Entra DDD: 1425, 1426;
    - NEXUS Entra DR: 1466, 1494, 1495;
    - NEXUS Entra SR: 1395, 1398;
    - NEXUS Entra SSI: 1325, 1326;
    - NEXUS Plus DR: 1467, 1468;
    - NEXUS Plus SR: 1394;
    - NEXUS Ultra DR: 1490, 1491; and,
    - NEXUS Ultra SR: 1390.
    

    Guidant has admitted that there is widespread underreporting of device
failures and that this underreporting leads to an underestimation of the
actual failure rates. Further, and despite Guidant's allegations to the
contrary, Justice Cullity found that more than 400 of the pacemakers were
implanted after Guidant had identified the problem and model numbers effected
and after an advisory had been sent to physicians. These findings are
consistent with the findings of Guidant's own Independent Panel, which
undertook a review of the company in 2006 and confirmed Guidant's culture of
secrecy, underreporting and denial.

    Kim Orr Barristers P.C. and Lerners LLP represent the national plaintiff
class.

    Further information may be found at:
http://www.kimorr.ca/FL-Guidant_Pacemakers.html




For further information:

For further information: Inquiries may be directed to Megan B. McPhee at
(416) 349-6574 or Rebecca Case at (416) 601-4186. Kim Orr Barristers, 200
Front Street West, 23rd Floor, PO Box 45, Toronto, ON, M5V 3K2, Tel: (416)
596-1414, Fax: (416) 598-0601, www.kimorr.ca

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