Pacemaker manufacturer sued in St. Clair County

Ann Knef May 29, 2007, 7:00am

Charles Earlin claims his implanted pacemaker made him dizzy, nauseous and caused a rapid heartbeat as well as chest pain, according to a suit filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court on May 25.

Earlin's strict liability and negligence suit seeks in excess of $140,000 in damages from Guidant Sales Corp., Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp., which acquired Guidant in 2006.

He claims that he had his pacemacker, Insignia Model 1298, implanted on Feb. 27, 2004. The device was removed from Earlin on July 27, 2006, following the product's recall on June 23, 2006.

Earlin is represented by James R. Mendillo and Heather M. Wescoat of Freeark, Harvey, Mendillo, Dennis, Wuller, Cain & Murphy of Belleville.

The suit claims the pacemaker was unreasonably dangerous and defective in that it would unexpectedly and without warning short circuit, its sealant would deteriorate and it failed to contain any warnings that it would malfunction.

He claims he was unaware of the defect until it was recalled.

"That the defect in said pacemaker subjected users, including the plaintiff, to an increased risk of heart attack, death, or other illnesses, which conditions exceeded the benefit of the device, and for which other products that did exist which did not contain the same risks," the complaint states.

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