Boston Scientific, Natick, Mass., has agreed to pay $16.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by 35 states and the District of Columbia against the companys wholly owned subsidiary Guidant, now known as Boston Scientific Cardiac Rhythm Management.
The lawsuit, filed in September 2005, alleged that Guidant continued to market a popular defibrillator even after company officials learned about a flaw that could prompt some devices to send an unnecessary, life-threatening shock to recipients hearts.
Under the terms of the settlement, the $16.75 million will be used by states to cover legal fees, enforce consumer-protection laws and set up consumer health-education programs. Boston Scientific will admit no liability, but it will extend a supplemental warranty on the pacemakers an additional six months and implement recommendations made by an independent panel in 2005. They include hiring a patient-safety officer and setting up a safety advisory board.
Boston Scientific inherited the lawsuit when it purchased Guidant in April 2006. In July, the company agreed to pay $195 million to settle claims made by approximately 4,000 patients who received the defibrillators. -- by Shawn Rhea
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