We write often about corporations selling products they privately know are dangerous.
In almost every instance, the choice to sell in spite of the dangers is made for the sake of corporate profits.
To the long list of companies that have made this choice, we now add St. Jude Medical – a company, recently purchased by Abbott Laboratories.
The product they have sold that is dangerous? Defibrillators with batteries packs known to fail.
Think about that for a moment. Defibrillators protect patients with heart problems by delivering an electric shock to return a diseased heart to a normal rhythm when it is not beating properly.
These brief electrical discharges are life savers. And these devices are implanted in the chests of the patients who need them.
So what happens when the batteries suddenly fail?
If there hasn’t been a fatal result – the device must be replaced, and that requires a risky surgery.
To date, the FDA reports that at least two people have died as a result of St. Jude defibrillator failure and dozens more have been harmed by other adverse effects.
After knowingly selling these defective defibrillators for years, St. Jude finally responded to pressure and issued a recall last fall. In October, the FDA reported that of the 400,000 faulty defibrillators sold worldwide, 841 were returned to the company because the battery packs had suddenly failed.
When the battery issue was first discovered by researchers at Duke University in 2015, St. Jude fixed the problem in new devices but did not recall the faulty defibrillators or warn doctors or patients of potential problems.
Why did the company make that choice?
According to various industry watchdogs, they failed to act because defibrillators sales account for $1.6 billion in income to St. Jude and the company was worried a recall would hurt profitability.
Whatever the reason – their actions were grossly irresponsible.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a St. Jude defibrillator, call a qualified Connecticut defective product lawyer. A knowledgeable defective product attorney can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled hundreds of defective product cases over our more than 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.
What’s more, our Connecticut defective product lawyers have received local and national recognition for our handling of these cases.
We have a great team of legal experts dedicated to protecting consumers in Connecticut. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free, and there is no obligation of any kind.