Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Attorneys seeking Medtronic plaintiffs turn up the heat

Since Fridley-based Medtronic recalled its defective Sprint Fidelis defibrillator leads in October, the company has been bracing for a wave of litigation. It already lost one battle in that arena when a Toronto court ruled that patients in Canada who had the leads installed could join a class action against the company.

Now, though no similar class has been established in the United States, numerous law firms are aggressively pursuing potential plaintiffs in lawsuits against Medtronic. Several have set up websites wooing potential clients, and Houston, Tex.-based firm Pulaski & Middleman has even brought its campaign into Medtronic’s back yard.

Pulaski has begun running TV commercials locally that make seductive statements (although not promises, of course) about what patients with Sprint Fidelis leads stand to gain if they have the firm in their corner. The commercials are loud and persistent, flashing the firm’s phone number repeatedly on the screen and all but screaming the phrase free money at viewers. Attorneys who prefer to practice in quiet dignity are excused for cringing when these ads come on.

Medtronic argued last month before the U.S. Supreme Court that it should be shielded against state product liability lawsuits, arguing that since the FDA approved its medical devices, that should pre-empt patients from bringing suit. Experts believe the decision could be crucial for patients-rights cases in the future.

No comments: