NEW YORK, June 22 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Manhattan …

NEW YORK, June 22 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Manhattan law firms Weitz & Luxenberg, PC and Seeger Weiss, LLP have jointly filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of patients implanted with malfunctioning defibrillators manufactured by
Guidant Corporation.

Guidant, which has been in acquisition talks with pharmaceutical giant
Johnson & Johnson, has recalled the VENTAK PRIZM 2 DR (Model 1861), the CONTAK
RENEWAL (Models H135 and H155) and the VENTAK PRIZM AVT, VITALITY AVT, and
RENEWAL 4 AVT ICDs after the devices failed to work properly.

According to Guidant’s press release of June 17, 2005, the PRIZM 2 model
has had 28 reports of failure and one death in 26,000 devices built before
April 2002. The CONTAK model has 15 reports of failure and one death in 16,000
devices built before August of 2004. Both models have a flaw that causes a
short circuit, preventing the defibrillator from delivering a shock to a heart
in fibrillation.

error causing two confirmed malfunctions in 21,000 implants. The memory error
requires the devices to be reprogrammed.

Guidant has already come under scrutiny for failing to tell doctors and
patients for three years about a flaw in the VENTAK PRIZM 2 Model 1861 that
could cause a short circuit. While Guidant informed the FDA of the
malfunction in its August 2003 annual report, it has been asserted that the
company made no move to alert doctors or heart patients of the malfunction
until after it was told that the New York Times was preparing an article on
May 23, 2005 about the faulty devices.

Patients who have been implanted with the flawed devices now face
difficult medical and emotional choices, since the faulty defibrillators most
likely require replacement. Defibrillator patients will be forced to undergo
dangerous cardiac surgery or cope with the stress and mental anguish of not
knowing if their defibrillator might malfunction at a critical moment. They
must also contend with lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitative expenses
following replacement surgery.
Weitz & Luxenberg and Seeger Weiss strive to ensure that patients injured
by Guidant defibrillators have the information they need to make informed
legal and medical decisions. Cardiac patients who been implanted with any
recalled models, those who have undergone replacement surgeries, or who have
suffered emotional injuries due to malfunctioning defibrillators may view the
firms’ corporate websites at and for more information.

Weitz & Luxenberg has built a reputation as one of the country’s foremost
medical device law firms, helping thousands of patients receive significant
financial compensation for their injuries. Seeger Weiss is recognized as one
of the nation’s preeminent law firms handling complex individual and class
action litigation on behalf of consumers, investors and injured persons


David Kufeld, Director of Marketing
Weitz & Luxenberg, PC
180 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038
(212) 558-5682 – phone
(212) 558-5692 – fax
[email protected]

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