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LeFrancois v. Guidant Corp.

LeFrancois v. Guidant Corp.

This class action was with respect to certain defibrillators manufactured by Guidant Corporation, Guidant Canada Corporation, Guidant Sales Corporation and Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. (collectively “Guidant”).  In May and June 2005, Guidant revealed that certain defibrillators may contain defects.  This class action was brought on behalf of those individuals who were implanted with one of the identified defibrillators and their family members.  The defendants defended this action vigorously.

In 2008, the action was successfully certified after six days of oral argument, heard in two stages.  Leave to appeal the certification was denied in 2009.  In 2009, the defendants brought a motion to approve their proposed forms of notice, which included certain manufacturing cut-off dates for defibrillators and, if necessary, amend the class definition or decertify the proceeding with respect to those individuals who were implanted with devices manufactured after the defendants’ proposed cut-off dates.  This motion was heard over two days.  Ultimately, the court did not accept the defendants’ proposed dates and dismissed the defendants’ motion to add their dates.  Leave to appeal this decision was denied.  In total, the defendants were ordered to pay over $430,000 in costs for these motions.

Subsequently, a settlement was reached and approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Individuals who Guidant’s records showed had had a defibrillator explanted as a result of an advisory (“Eligible Patient Class Members”) were able to file a claim with an administrator.  Provision was also made for Eligible Patient Class Members who suffered a serious injury to apply for additional compensation. In addition, the provincial and territorial health ministries received funds.

Further details as to the history of this class action and copies of the Settlement documents may be found on the website of class counsel, Sutts Strosberg.