Guidant's $296M 'landmark' plea rejected by judge

Guidant's proposed $296 million plea deal was rejected by a federal judge in Minneapolis Tuesday because it doesn't address "the criminal conduct at issue."

The plea did not include corporate probation for Guidant or its parent company, Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX). The company was charged in February with concealing information about catastrophic failures in three models of implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

The Justice Department had called the deal, the largest fine paid by a devicemaker to resolve a criminal case, a landmark, the New York Times reports. Judge Donovan Frank decided to delay his decision after lawyers representing the plaintiffs demanded part of the settlement.

In a statement, Boston Scientific says the court invited the parties to consider a modified agreement fashioned to further serve the public interest, including community service, public education and charitable activities, and suggested the DOJ allocate a portion of the settlement funds to Medicare.  The compay adds that it plans to work with the DOJ in an effort to develop a modified plea agreement that is acceptable to all involved.

- check out the Boston Scientific release
- here's the New York Times item
- see Bloomberg's report for more

ALSO: Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. cut its full-year earnings guidance late Monday after calculating the impact of a monthlong shipment hold on its most profitable product, implantable heart defibrillators. Story

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