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Boston Scientific pays $30 million to settle lawsuit over defective devices

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Boston Scientific is paying $30 million to settle a lawsuit over defective medical devices made in the Twin Cities.

Reuters reports the implantable defibrillators were made by Guidant, an Arden Hills-based company that Boston Scientific purchased in 2006. The lawsuit involved devices sold between 2002 and 2005.

As Bloomberg reports, the Justice Department claimed Guidant fixed a defect in the defibrillators, but then knowingly sold its remaining stock of defective devices.

A Boston Scientific spokesman quoted by both news outlets says "While the company continues to deny the allegations made in the complaint, it felt it was in the best interests of all parties to settle this matter and avoid further protracted litigation."

The defibrillators regulate a patient's heartbeat, but Reuters says the defective version was prone to short-circuiting. MPR reports at least 13 deaths were blamed on the units by 2010.

In announcing the settlement, the Justice Department noted that in 2010 Guidant (by then a unit of Boston Scientific) pleaded guilty to misleading federal regulators. The department later joined a lawsuit filed by a patient who received a defective device. The government sued on behalf of Medicare patients.

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