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Defective Medtronic Defibrillator Leads

Product Liability - Mass Tort Law

Medtronic, a global medical product manufacturer and the largest seller of defibrillators and pacemakers, manufactures the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis, a newer electrical wire for defibrillators.

What is a Defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a small medical device that assists patients with abnormalities in heart rhythm. Implanted into the chest near the shoulder, the defibrillator uses a small wire, called a "lead,” that runs from the defibrillator through the veins and into the heart. When the patient’s heart begins to beat too fast, the defibrillator detects this abnormal rhythm and sends a shock to restore a normal heartbeat.

The leads used with defibrillators are very fragile. Medtronic’s Fidelis model uses leads that are thinner than other types of leads, primarily for patient comfort and easier insertion of the lead into the veins.

What’s Wrong With the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis?

Unfortunately, deaths and other major complications have occurred due to a break in the wire, which can cause the defibrillator to misread the patient’s heart rhythm, sending an unnecessary and potentially fatal electrical shock to the heart. Because of this defect, Medtronic now faces lawsuits from injured patients or their families in the case of deaths from the faulty lead. The FDA has issued a medical device recall to patients using this device, and attorneys across the country are assisting patients and their families, providing counseling and filing lawsuits where appropriate.

Interestingly, Medtronic has faced this problem before. Defective Medtronic defibrillators were previously recalled in 2005, and problems with leads occurred in the 1980s and in 1991, based on data that showed the leads might be faulty in carrying the proper electrical signals to the heart to maintain normal heartbeats.

Medtronic has removed this device from the market, admitting in a public statement, “It is frightening for a patient to learn that a product they rely on so much might have a serious defect.”

For the 250,000 patients with the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Models 6930, 6931, 6948 and 6949 who have experienced failure of their defibrillator because of this defective product, "frightening" doesn’t begin to describe the feeling of knowing a medical device designed to save your life might have the opposite effect at any random moment.

What Should I Do?

If you or a loved one is among this group of patients, see your physician immediately to find out if the defibrillator lead must be removed. If you have suffered an injury due to this defective product, the lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Please contact our defective product lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.