Doctor Claims Riata Heart Implant Had Deadly Defect

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A battle is shaping up between the makers of a medical device and a doctor who is saying that a defect in the device directly contributed to the death of more than 20 people.

In the March issue of the Heart Rhythm Journal, a medical journal, a doctor has written a report about St. Jude Medical Inc.’s Riata heart implant device.  The findings published do not speak well of the product.  Specifically, the report discusses a defect in the insulation that led to certain high voltage components short circuiting and triggering a failure of the device itself.

In 2011, the Riata and Riata ST leads for implantable cardioverter defibrillators were recalled.  Now, though, the company that makes those devices, St. Jude’s, has asked that the new study be withdrawn from the print publication of the aforementioned magazine.  They are claiming that the defect has been resolved, saying that no wiring problems exist at the moment.  They point to their efforts to put additional coating on the wiring.  According to St. Jude’s, this technique has solved any problems that may have taken place.

As a San Jose personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen a number of medical devices get recalled because of a defect that compromises the stability of the item and the safety of the individual.  This is certainly one story I will be paying close attention to as a Ventura personal injury attorney.