Boston Scientific and its child company, Guidant, recently settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for knowingly selling defective defibrillators. Guidant must pay $30 million.
According to the government, Guidant discovered that two of its defibrillator models contained defects that left them at risk of arcing. Instead of destroying its defective inventory and notifying affected patients, the manufacturer sold off its remaining products and quietly fixed the design problem.
Arcing occurs when the device’s medical shock isn’t administered to the patient’s heart as intended and sends the electrical impulse back into the device, causing it to short-circuit. The malfunction can have fatal consequences for patients implanted with a Guidant defibrillator, as the device may fail when they need its lifesaving capabilities.
Shockingly, Guidant’s abhorrent behavior is fairly common in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Boards of Directors and CEOs typically make their decisions to please investors, or at least avoid causing stock prices to plummet. Patient safety is of much less priority than profits.
Product liability lawsuits allow victims to hold manufacturers liable for the harm they needlessly cause. If a drug or device has impacted your family, an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you explore your legal options.
McKeen & Associates P.C., is an award-winning injury law firm that devotes much of its practice to helping victims of medical and pharmaceutical negligence. Based in Detroit, McKeen & Associates handles claims throughout the U.S.
Source: National Law Review, “Boston Scientific To Pay $30 Million In Healthcare Fraud Case,” Oct. 24, 2013