Suit: Cardiac implants caused loss of enjoyment of life

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 31, 2008, 2:44am

To treat life-threatening heart conditions, Texas residents Lawrence Booth and Larry Easter were given implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD), to detect and correct both fast and slow heart rates. But the men believe the ICD's have caused them pain and suffering and have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Booth and Easter filed a product liability suit against Medtronic, Medtronic Puerto Rico, and Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Company on Jan. 28 in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the plaintiffs' original complaint, both men are implanted with an ICD that contains a Sprint Fidelis 6948 lead wire system, which is subject to a voluntary recall by manufacturer Medtronic.

On Oct. 15, 2007, Medtronic voluntarily suspended distribution of the Sprint Fidelis Leads (models: 6930, 6931, 6948, and 6949) because of a potential for lead factures.

The plaintiffs claim the ICD's are causing them to suffer "severe physical and emotional injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life."

The lawsuit is demanding claims of relief for products liability, breach of warranty, and negligence.

Booth and Easter are seeking punitive and exemplary damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, physical impairment, mental anguish, pre and post-judgment interest, and costs of suit.

Houston attorney Marcus L. Stevenson of the Riff Stevenson Law Firm, L.L.P is representing the plaintiffs in their allegations.

Attorney Stevenson has filed similar suits against other implantable cardiac defibrillator manufacturers and models.

According to the Medtronic news release, worldwide approximately 268,000 Sprint Fidelis leads have been implanted. Doctors and medical experts advise against patients seeking unnecessary replacement as the risk of removal far exceeds the risk of a lead failure.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the litigation.

Case No: 5:08cv00019

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