Pulaski Law Firm, P.L.L.C., filed one of the first lawsuits in the United States against Guidant Corp. related to the recall. At this time, Pulaski Law Firm, P.L.L.C. represents over 1,000 clients with recalled heart defibrillators.
Guidant acknowledged in a letter to heart physicians that a small percentage of its defibrillators made before 2003 contain a flaw that can short-circuit the device and disable it. The revelation came two months after a 21-year-old college student from Minnesota died when he suffered cardiac arrest, and his defibrillator failed to work because of a short-circuit. The Indianapolis-based medical devices maker said there had been 26 reports of the defibrillator failing, including one recent death. Guidant said about 24,000 of the Ventak Prizm 2 devices were implanted worldwide and that the problem is with defibrillators manufactured before November 2002. Guidant suggested that any patient with a Guidant defibrillator should consult with their physician if they have questions, particularly if they had recently received a defibrillation shock.
On July 19, 2005, Guidant Corporation recalled several models of their pacemakers due to a potentially fatal flaw in nine of their popular lines of these devices. Guidant stated that there had been 69 devices from these groups that havd experienced some sort of failure. 78,000 Guidant pacemakers manufactured between 1997 and 2000 are suspected to have this defect with 18,000 still in use in the United States.
Potentially defective pacemaker lines included: PULSAR, PULSAR MAX, DISCOVERY, MERIDIAN, PULSAR MAX II, DISCOVERY II, VIRTUS PLUS II, INTELIS II and CONTAK TR.
An electrical shock from a device, or an audible beeping coming from the device, may meant mean the defibrillator is damaged.
FDA advises patients to take the following steps:
- If you have not already been notified, contact your doctor to determine if you have an affected PRIZM 2, CONTAK RENEWAL, or CONTAK RENEWAL 2 device.
- Continue to keep your regular doctor appointments.
- If you feel an electrical shock from your device, immediately contact your doctor.
- If there is an audible “beeping” from your CONTAKRENEWAL or RENEWAL 2 device, immediately contact your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Beeping may mean that your defibrillator is damaged.
Pulaski Law Firm P.L.L.C. worked alongside several other law firms in an effort to resolve this litigatrion. After several years of litigation, a resolution for several hundred million dollars was reached between the manufacturer and the plaintiffs.