Over 128,000 patients have received a St. Jude Riata or Riata ST heart defibrillator leads worldwide, many of which received their implant in the United States. Although the St. Jude devices have been recalled in November of 2011, approximately 79,000 patients (at the time of the recall) continue to live with the potentially defective device because of the risks associated with surgery. In the event of an implant failure, patients are strongly urged to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable product liability lawyer with experience in representing clients against large medical device manufacturing companies.
Unusually High Rate of Insulation Erosion
Defibrillator leads are the thin wires that connect the defibrillator to the heart. The leads are what deliver the electrical shocks when the heart begins to beat in an abnormal pace or pattern. When these metal wires escape its insulation, patients can be at risk of:
- Unintended shocks
- Device failure
- Organ perforation
- Heart attack
- Cardiac arrest
The St. Jude heart defibrillators have been linked to 20 deaths and numerous complications. A study conducted by the medical device manufacturer found that Riata and Riata ST exhibited failure rates of 24 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.
FDA Advises Imaging Tests for St. Jude Defibrillator Patients
On August 16, 2012, the FDA issued a news release advising patients with St. Jude Riata and Riata ST defibrillator leads to check the condition of their implants’ leads through X-rays and other imaging technology. The recommendations are supported by several studies that have demonstrated that regular imaging tests can detect problems with the lead insulation early on, and protect patients from suffering serious health problems.
Legal Rights for St. Jude Riata and Riata ST Patients
Victims of defective heart defibrillator leads should understand their legal rights to seek financial compensation from St. Jude Medical. Product liability law provides injured patients, a means to seek legal recourse after suffering a serious heart complication or losing a loved one due to the defective Riata or Riata ST devices. Patients may be entitled to damages such as:
- Revision surgery
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Choosing Estey & Bomberger, LLP
Estey Bomberger defective medical device lawyers have more than 70 years of combined experience representing victims of serious injuries. Over the years, our team of product liability lawyers has successfully recovered compensation from large corporations and medical device manufacturers such as Medtronic. As a firm specializing in large damage claims, our attorneys understand how important it is for our clients to recover the maximum compensation possible. Both founding partners have been recognized as National Trial Lawyers, for their success in handling complicated, high damage claims.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you have been issued a defective St. Jude Riata or Riata ST defibrillator lead and would like to know more about your legal options, please contact us today for a free consultation with a skilled St. Jude Riata injury lawyer. In a free and private case evaluation, one of our experienced attorneys will assess your case and help you determine the best course of action for your claim.