Patients slap St. Jude Medical with lawsuits over recalled Riata heart wires

April 5, 2013 by MassDevice staff

Personal injury lawsuits filed against St. Jude Medical allege that its Riata defibrillator leads were defective and caused injuries or deaths of more than 30 patients.

St. Jude Medical's Riata defibrillator lead

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) was slapped with multiple lawsuits in California courts yesterday over its recalled Riata defibrillator lead, alleging that the heart wires were defective and led to injuries or death for more than 30 patients.

The lawsuits generally accuse St. Jude of violating both state and federal requirements for reporting issues with medical devices, also claiming that the company failed to meet FDA manufacturing guidelines.

"From 2005 to 2010 St. Jude Medical applied for over 27 manufacturing or process changes to the Riata leads," according to a complaint filed by plaintiffs Terry and Sherry Byerline. "Upon information and belief, St. Jude Medical failed to manufacture the Riata Leads consistent with these approved changes, thereby creating a defective product."