St Jude Medical ($STJ) got hammered with a new lawsuit from a Pennsylvania man who claims the company's now-recalled Riata cardiac defibrillator leads injured him. The latest Riata legal fight underscores the reality that fallout from the product's problems won't be going away any time soon.
The patient, Robert Loiseau, said that he was implanted with a Riata ICD lead in September 2007 but learned in April 2012 that it might be defective and had to be removed. After the subsequent surgery, surgeons discovered that the lead had already fractured and wouldn't have worked properly if Loiseau needed an electrical shock from his defibrillator. This defect caused him "physical pain, mental anguish and lost income," the suit alleges.
Loiseau's attorneys, with the law firm Lief Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, filed his personal injury lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles, where the company manufactured Riata.
St. Jude began recalling Riata ICD leads in 2011 after allegations of poor design, dangerous shocks and device breakdowns. Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court judge in California allowed 5 Riata failure-to-warn product liability lawsuits against the Minnesota device company to move forward. Before that, the judge had only allowed suits alleging negligence and manufacturing defects to advance.
The Riata legacy dogs St. Jude as it excels in other areas. Earlier this week, the company announced it had begun a massive post-marketing study of its newly acquired Nanostim leadless pacemaker. Weeks ago, it began U.S. trials for the same device.
- read the release from the plaintiff's law firm