Californian With Recalled Heart Lead Files Class Action Lawsuit to Hold Medtronic Responsible for Cost of Medical Care

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Class counsel announced that Rashid Hunter of Fremont, California, filed a class lawsuit against Medtronic Inc., on behalf of all Californians implanted with Sprint Fidelis leads, the wiring that connects a defibrillator to the heart. Due to reports of adverse events and at least five patient deaths linked to breaking defibrillator leads sold under the brand name Sprint Fidelis, Medtronic issued a recall of the product on October 15, 2007. Mr. Hunter seeks an order from the Court holding Medtronic responsible for all diagnostic and medical charges, and any corrective surgical expenses caused by Medtronic's faulty device.

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I live in constant fear, wondering if my lead will malfunction and kill or cause me severe pain as it has done to others

    "I live in constant fear, wondering if my lead will malfunction and kill or cause me severe pain as it has done to others," stated Mr. Hunter. "My family also lives in fear that the device will fail and I won't be able to get help in time to save my life. It would be a great relief to me and my family if Medtronic was required to fund a program to monitor the health of every patient with the recalled leads."

"The defect is potentially fatal and patients are fearful they may be the next victim," commented Elizabeth J. Cabraser, counsel for Mr. Hunter. "Many patients are also concerned whether they will receive the necessary diagnostic and medical care in the years to come, and whether they can afford replacement surgery should their physician recommend extraction of the lead. Today's lawsuit seeks to hold Medtronic responsible for the medical expenses Californians with the recalled wires will incur."

The lawsuit, entitled Hunter v. Medtronic, Inc., was filed in federal court in San Francisco last week. The complaint alleges Medtronic misrepresented the safety of its Sprint Fidelis leads and failed to warn that the leads were prone to breakage. The Medtronic Sprint Fidelis lead has had a significantly higher than expected failure rate that appears in just the first two years after implantation.

Information for Heart Patients

Leads are the thin, insulated wires connected to a defibrillator that carry electric impulses to the heart. Your wallet card will specify the manufacturer of your defibrillator leads.

If you would like to learn more about the Medtronic recall and your legal rights, please visit http://www.medtronicheartleadrecall.com.

Patients who have had to undergo surgery to replace a faulty lead or have been advised by a physician that their lead may be defective are also welcome to call counsel toll-free at 1-800-541-7358 and ask to speak to attorney Heather A. Foster of Lieff Cabraser.

Resources for Reporters

Reporters who wish to receive a copy of the complaint are welcome to contact Brandan de Coteau of Lieff Cabraser at bdecoteau@lchb.com or (415) 956-1000.

About Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a fifty-plus attorney law firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972. We have offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. We represent plaintiffs in class and group actions and in individual lawsuits in cases involving substantial injuries or economic losses. For the last five years, The National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the nation.

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Elizabeth J. Cabraser
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