Attorneys representing investor Bradley Cooper are seeking approximately $3 million from Abbott (NYSE:ABT) owned Thoratec in legal fees and $392,445 in expenses for a lawsuit that the company settled in February for $11.9 million.
In the original case, plaintiffs claimed that Thoratec and some of its officers hid facts about its Heartmate II heart pump’s thrombosis rate that would have negatively affected share prices.
Investor Bradley Cooper brought the suit against the company in January 2014, on behalf of anyone who bought stock between April 29, 2010, and Nov. 27, 2013. Plaintiffs in the case argued that the company failed to warn investors about a blood clot problem with its HeartMate II implant implicated in a Class I recall.
In 2013, the FDA said an improperly connected component in the implant may result in deformation or tearing of the device’s outflow conduit, putting the patient at risk of serious injury or death. A year before that, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a sharp increase in the rate of blood clots with the HeartMate II LVAD.
The Pleasanton, Calif.-based device maker issued a correction notice in February 2012, warning physicians that a small portion of the HeartMate II devices’ sealed outflow graft bend reliefs, designed to prevent a connector between the pump and the aorta from kinking, were not properly connected.
The suit was revived in October 2017 by a Ninth Circuit panel which decided it was a mistake that a lower court dismissed the case, and that investors had sufficient grounds for their claims that the company misled them.
The revived case included both Bradley Cooper and Todd Labak as plaintiffs, who both purchased shares in July and August 2013. Plaintiffs in the case were found to meet the appropriate rules for class certification, US District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled last May.
In their most recent filing, the plaintiffs claim that they took on a certain amount of risk in pursuing the class action lawsuit with no guarantee that the claims “would bear any fruit,” according to court documents.
“This complex litigation has been extremely hard-fought, including briefing and argument to the Ninth Circuit, with Defendants represented by experienced and equally determined counsel. Without any assurance of success, the Class Representative and Class Counsel pursued their claims for over five years to an exceptional conclusion. This Settlement represents an excellent recovery for the Class and reflects the skill, dedication, and tenacity of Class Counsel,” plaintiffs wrote, according to court documents.
The investors are seeking a total of approximately $3.4 million related to fees and expenses and $10,000 for class representative Labak.
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