Description of MDL No. 08-1905 (RHK/JSM).
In re Medtronic - Fidelis.


Summary Description of In re Medtronic, Inc. Sprint Fidelis Leads Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 08-1905.


This multidistrict litigation consists of hundreds of claims currently pending before this Court involving implantable defibrillator leads manufactured and sold under the brand name “Sprint Fidelis” by defendants Medtronic, Inc., Medtronic Puerto Rico, Inc., n/k/a Medtronic International Technology, Inc., Medtronic Puerto Rico Operations Co., Inc., and Medtronic USA, Inc. (together, “Medtronic”). The following models of Sprint Fidelis leads are at issue in this litigation: (a) 6949 LFJ extendable/retractable screw fixation (S) model; (b) 6948 LFH tuned fixation (T) model; (c) 6931 LFT S fixation; and (d) 6930 LFK T fixation. Additional cases, based on similar allegations, are pending in various state courts.

Sprint Fidelis leads are insulated wires located inside a protective sleeve that is attached to an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (“ICD”) and threaded through the patient's vein into the heart. If the ICD detects an abnormal heart rhythm, the ICD transmits an electric pulse through the Sprint Fidelis lead to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm.

Plaintiffs generally are individuals who were implanted with Sprint Fidelis leads and, in some cases, family members of those individuals. Plaintiffs claim, among other things, that Sprint Fidelis leads are defective and create a risk of fracture; that they have suffered emotional distress as a result of their Sprint Fidelis leads; that Medtronic breached express and implied warranties; that Medtronic violated various consumer protection statutes in marketing Sprint Fidelis leads; and that Medtronic has been unjustly enriched. Some of the individual plaintiffs allege that Sprint Fidelis leads caused physical injuries, while other plaintiffs claim that they require additional medical monitoring. Some complaints seek class action status.

Medtronic contends that plaintiffs' claims lack legal merit because, among other reasons, they are preempted by federal law. Medtronic also contends that it acted appropriately in designing, manufacturing, and marketing Sprint Fidelis leads.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined that it was appropriate to centralize Sprint Fidelis lead cases in the District of Minnesota. All federal Sprint Fidelis lead cases have been transferred to the District of Minnesota for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. The cases are assigned to District Judge Richard H. Kyle and Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron. Subsequent Sprint Fidelis cases filed in or removed to federal court will be transferred to the District of Minnesota and become part of MDL No. 08-1905 (RHK/JSM) as “tag along” cases.

If you would like more information about this litigation, you may contact the following counsel for the parties:


For Plaintiffs:

Daniel E. Gustafson, Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs
Gustafson Gluek PLLC
725 Northstar East
608 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-8844

Charles S. Zimmerman, Esq., Chair of Plaintiffs' Steering Committee
Zimmerman Reed PLLP
651 Nicollet Mall, Suite 501
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 341-0400

Robert K. Shelquist, Liaison Counsel for Plaintiffs
Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP
100 Washington Avenue South
Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 339-6900


For Medtronic:

George W. Soule
Jennifer K. Huelskoetter
Melissa R. Stull
Liaison Counsel for Defendants
Bowman and Brooke LLP
150 South Fifth Street
Suite 3000
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 339-8682