Following a guilty plea to felony charges over injuries related to medical devices, lawyers are hunting down potential clients with claims against Guidant Corp.

Three firms this week filed class-action lawsuits against Guidant, and many more seek to do so.
The Indianapolis-based maker of heart treatments said on Monday it already faced 14 civil lawsuits related to the product, and it expected more.

An Internet search on Google Tuesday turned up eight sponsored links by law firms seeking patients injured by Guidant’s Ancure Endograft product. The device is used to reinforce weakened sections of the body’s main artery that have ballooned and are at risk of rupture.

Several industry analysts said in research reports they expect a flood of patient liability and shareholder lawsuits, but seemed satisfied with Guidant’s assurances on Monday that its liability risk was “manageable.”

In a settlement agreement last week with the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, Guidant agreed to pay $92.4 million in fines and investigation costs and plead guilty to 10 felony counts for mislabeling the product and misleading federal regulators about deaths and injuries linked to it.

Attorney Arlene Farolan of Chicago-based class-action firm Kenneth Moll & Associates, a sponsor of one of the Google links, said the response to her firm’s inquiries has been “overwhelming.”

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