Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sprint Fidelis Litigation: Court Dismisses Cases Based on Preemption

My office investigated issues relating to Sprint Fidelis and their recall back in 2007. What are Sprint Fidelis Leads? Made by Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Leads are specific models of cardiac electrodes (thin wires) that connect an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) directly to the heart. ICDs and CRT-Ds are devices that protect patients when life-threatening heart rhythms occur.

I was concerned about how preemption would play out regarding these, so we decided to pass. I felt badly for folks who had these recalled leads in their bodies; the looming preemption effect would turn out to be significant.

Last week, a Court dismissed all cases involving the leads. The decision is here. (PDF)

All 21 counts of the Master Complaint were dismissed. With prejudice. Will there be an appeal? Talking to lawyers who chose to take a chance by filing suit in the hopes that an injured person would obtain some measure of justice, as of yet many are undecided as to what to do. Many lawyers are now waiting on two major developments: The Wyeth v. Levin SCOTUS decision, and likely legislation in Congress regarding preemption.

Stay tuned.