Couple sues over malfunctioning defibrillator

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 15, 2008, 7:52am

Lonnie Chambers filed a product liability complaint against Medtronic, Inc., seeking damages for personal injuries and economic damages suffered as a result of an alleged defective and dangerous defibrillator.

In court papers filed in Madison County Circuit Court on July 10, Chambers said he has a heart condition and as a result must use an implantable defibrillator. He was implanted with a Medtronic defibrillator on Aug. 10, 2005, the complaint says.

Chambers claims his defibrillator has a "Sprint Fidelis lead" that is supposed to help his maintain an appropriate cardiac rhythm and to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

He claims that on June 1, he experienced a series of electric shocks from the defective defibrillator that lead to multiple surgeries and hospital stays.

Chambers claims the defibrillator leads were unreasonably dangerous and defective since the leads could fracture and cause inappropriate shocks, resulting in malfunctions and shocks.

"The Plaintiff suffered severe and personal injury as the result of the defective defibrillator and leads as well as continuing and permanent damage," the complaint states.

In addition, Chambers alleges Medtronic is in breach of an implied warranty because they allegedly sold defibrillators and leads that had a manufacturing defect.

His wife, Doris Chambers, is also seeking damages alleging her husband's injuries have deprived her of his support, society, companionship and consortium.

The couple is represented by Jon Carlson of Edwardsville. They are seeking damages in excess of $300,000, plus costs.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nichloas Byron.

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