Turnabout is fair play for Boston Scientific in Guidant lawsuit

February 18, 2013 by MassDevice staff

The federal government can depose employees of Boston Scientific's star-crossed Guidant subsidiary for a whistleblower lawsuit alleging violations of the False Claims Act.

Boston Scientific's Guidant subsidiary

For Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and its ongoing legal woes over the blockbuster acquisition of Guidant Corp. , you win some and you lose some.

The Natick, Mass.-based medical device company won a bid in December to compel the release of Medicare documents in a whistleblower lawsuit accusing Guidant and its corporate parent of concealing problems with Guidant's implantable cardiac defibrillators.

But last week a judge in Minnesota ruled that Boston Scientific must allow its employees to be deposed for the lawsuit, for testimony on the design and testing of the allegedly faulty implants, according to court documents.

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James Allen sued Guidant and Boston Scientific in July 2008 under the False Claims Act, alleging that they knew of problems with the Ventak Prizm and Renewal implantable cardiac defibrillators but failed to disclose them.

After initially declining to join Allen's qui tam suit, the federal government signed on in December 2010. Boston Scientific asked Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan of the U.S. District Court for Minnesota to force the government's lawyers to release documents covering Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rules. Boylan granted the motion to compel production of CMS's reimbursement criteria for ICDs.

Boylan ruled Feb. 12 that Boston Scientific must make its employees available for deposition on a specific design change made in 2004, according to the documents.

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