Boston Scientific settles 8550 patient claims over faulty Guidant
22 November 2007
Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX) has reached an amended agreement to
settle claims associated with a series of product communications issued by
Guidant Corporation in 2005 and 2006. Boston Scientific acquired Guidant
last year. This agreement amends a prior agreement Boston Scientific reached
in July 2007 to cover additional unanticipated claims.
The plaintiffs in
the case had claimed that Guidant knowingly sold them inherently defective
defibrillator devices with potential life-threatening defects over a period
of three years.
The agreement was reached before a court in Minneapolis.
Under the terms of the amended agreement, subject to certain conditions,
Boston Scientific will pay a total of up to $240 million. The agreement
covers 8,550 patient claims, including all of those that have been
consolidated in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota in a
multi-district litigation (MDL), as well as other filed and unfiled claims
throughout United States. As a result of the amendment, proceedings in
Minnesota state court have, like the trials in the bellwether cases in the
MDL, been stayed.
Under the terms of the prior agreement, Boston
Scientific had agreed to pay $195 million to settle over 4,000 claims in the
MDL, as well as an undetermined number of additional similar claims. The
company believes that the claims covered by the amended agreement constitute
substantially all currently asserted claims in the United States arising
from the 2005 and 2006 product communications.
"We are pleased with this amendment, which is in the best interest of all
involved," said Jim Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston
Charles Zimmerman, co-lead attorney for the Plaintiffs'
Steering Committee, said, "This amended agreement is great news for the
patient plaintiffs and will provide them and their families with substantial
relief. Beyond this, the settlement serves the public good by highlighting
that transparency and full and proper disclosure are paramount to the public
and to those regulatory bodies entrusted to protect the public's interests,
particularly in the areas of public health and safety. It also highlights
the need for continued and stronger regulatory oversight of companies that
are in the business of manufacturing and selling life-saving devices to
consumers. We believe that with these results, the settlement truly benefits
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