Conflicting decisions and new tactics in Medtronic Infuse lawsuits

August 8, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

A Minnesota judge rules that federal law prevents patients from claiming damages against medical device giant Medtronic, just as an Illinois judges rules that a similar case may proceed.

Preemption saves Medtronic in Infuse bone-growth protein lawsuit

The battle over Medtronic's (NYSE:MDT) Infuse bone-growth protein continues to be a roller-coaster, with judges in 2 states issuing seemingly conflicting rulings about the validity of patient injury lawsuits against the Minnesota medical device giant and its troubled Infuse bone-growth protein.

With the dismissal of 1 lawsuit while another is allowed to proceed, patients and medical device makers alike are looking for potential weaknesses in federal preemption laws, which have protected many medical device makers by effectively squashing liability lawsuits against products approved by the FDA.

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A Minnesota judge this week evoked federal preemption laws to dismiss patient injury lawsuits against Medtronic and Infuse, leaving the door open, however, for patients to resubmit their lawsuits with more specific complaints.

The Minnesota ruling seems at odds with a decision handed down by an Illinois judge, who ruled that a similar lawsuit against Medtronic may proceed. Both lawsuits attempted to pin the blame for alleged patients injuries on Medtronic on the grounds that the company engaged in off-label marketing, the Star Tribune reported.