Medtronic faces Canadian class-action lawsuits over faulty defibrillators

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Ontario Superior Court Judge Alexandra Hoy has certified the class-action lawsuit in a ruling released Dec. 6 in Toronto, allowing the plaintiffs to seek a portion of Medtronic profits for damages.

Medtronic is now facing a lawsuit filed by a group of Canadians, who claim the company failed to warn consumers of a defect in the batteries installed in its defibrillators.

In October, Medtronic voluntarily suspended worldwide distribution of its Sprint Fidelis family of defibrillation leads because they were linked to at least four deaths. At that time, the company also recommended against new implants of the leads. In October, Medtronic agreed to pay $130 million to settle U.S. suits claiming the company hid the defects in the defibrillators.

In Canada, 2,416 patients had the Medtronic defibrillators implanted as of February 2005, with 613 of them having been removed or replaced as of June 2007.