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The Judicial Panel on Multi-Districl Litigation ruled recently that Guidant class action lawsuits will be consolidated in a Menneapolis federal court for discovery and other pre-trial motions. The consolidation includes two suits from MN and one each from FL, CA, IN and NY.

It is claimed that Guidant knew about malfunctions in their defibrillators for three years before notifying doctors or patients who received the implant.

The lawsuits began shortly after the company alerted doctors in May about a potential short-circuiting problem in some of its implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs.

Guidant Corp., whose cardiac rhythm management division is based in Arden Hills, recalled more than 300,000 pacemakers and ICDs last summer after discovering that a small number of the devices were prone to fail. In the ensuing fallout, Guidant’s $25.4 billion purchase by Johnson & Johnson has unraveled and Guidant sued this week to force J&J to complete the merger.

The Indy Star offers more about the Guidant lawsuit.

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