Weitz & Luxenberg Responds to Second Worldwide Recall of Electronic Heart Device Component Following Five Deaths

NEW YORK–LAWFUEL – The legal Newswire –A quarter of a million cardiac patients are expected to be affected by a worldwide manufacturer’s recall of lead wires that connect implantable defibrillators to the heart after the manufacturer, Minneapolis-based Medtronic, Inc., said it identified five patient deaths “in which a Sprint Fidelis lead fracture may have been a possible or likely contributing factor.”

It is the second recall of this kind in two years, observed personal injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., which represents plaintiffs in a similar case. Thousands of heart patients were affected by a recall in June 2005, when Guidant Corp., now a unit of Boston Scientific Corp., identified a problem with its own heart-monitoring components.

“Patients who are finding out that they have been implanted with Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Leads now face similar difficult medical and emotional decisions as those involved in the Guidant recall two years ago,” said David Rosenband, a trial attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg. “They will be forced to cope with the stress and mental anguish of not knowing if their lead devices may malfunction at a critical moment.”

Weitz & Luxenberg currently represents plaintiffs against Guidant Corporation in a federal multi-district litigation coordinated in U.S. District Court of Minnesota (Index No. MDL 05-1708). In a note to investors, Timothy Nelson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis, said the number of patients that will be affected by the current Medtronic recall will be about the same as those that were affected by the Guidant recall, according to Bloomberg.

At issue are Medtronic’s Sprint Fidelis lead wires, which may break or erode and shouldn’t be used, the manufacturer said in a statement. The leads deliver electrical jolts from defibrillators implanted in the chest to regulate a faltering heartbeat. The devices are used in people at risk of cardiac arrest – the biggest killer in the United States. Medtronic is the largest manufacturer of electronic heart devices in the world.

Weitz & Luxenberg has built a reputation as one of the country’s foremost medical device law firms, helping thousands of people receive significant financial compensation for their injuries. The firm is currently working for patients affected by the Guidant recall and has the information needed to make informed legal and medical decisions in these cases.

Heart patients with Medtronic implants, those who have undergone replacement surgeries, or who have suffered emotional injuries due to malfunctioning defibrillators can visit the firm’s website at www.weitzlux.com for more information or to report their condition. Interested parties can also call the Client Relations department at 1 (800) 476-6070, or e-mail [email protected]

About Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.

Weitz & Luxenberg, founded in 1986, is one of the leading plaintiffs’ law firms in America. The firm has also played leading roles in national and local litigations involving asbestos, DES, silicone breast implants, medical malpractice, and general negligence, among others. A forerunner in the legal fight against environmental polluters, Weitz & Luxenberg has worked with clients harmed by MTBE and mercury, among other toxins. The firm has won numerous cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals, including Vioxx, achieving a $13.5 million verdict against Merck & Co. The firm’s other active pharmaceutical litigations include actions against the manufacturers of Bextra, ReNu, Celebrex, Ortho Evra and Seroquel.

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