Canadian Court Gives Go-Ahead to Guidant Lawsuit

guidant insignia heroApril 10, 2008 - A Canadian court has given the go-ahead to a class action lawsuit against Guidant Corp that alleges the U.S. company knew of defects in its line of defibrillators, lawyers said on Thursday.

Lawyers involved in the suit said the Ontario Superior Court certified the suit in a decision released on Thursday.

Boston Scientific Corp, which acquired Guidant in 2006, settled a similar lawsuit in the United States at the end of last year for $240 million.

The Canadian suit claims that Guidant did not warn patients or doctors about defects in its popular implantable heart defibrillator until three years after they were first discovered.

The suit alleges that the company corrected the problems in some of its products but continued to sell defective devices that were still in inventory.

Guidant started a recall of the products in 2005 and recalled more than 100,000 of them in 2005 and 2006. The devices, known as ICDs, are surgically implanted in patients to monitor the heart. They are designed to send an electrical current to correct irregular heartbeats.

The lawyers involved in the suit said it represents 1,992 people, 530 of which have undergone surgery to replace their ICDs.