The "product update" that was sent instead of the letter advised doctors to be alert for electrical problems but did not specify any specific models.
Another document released describes how Guidant represented the problems with the devices to the FDA. A June 30, 2005, memo from a meeting the company requested to discuss the FDA's handling of a recall of 3 defibrillator models says:
"Guidant stated there is no evidence of a trend. There have only been two deaths involving two different implantable defibrillators and they feel that there is not a reasonable probability of serious adverse health consequences or death."
In light of the steady drizzle of damaging evidence, whether or not Boston shareholders ended up with a prize when they won Guidant seems to be more questionable every day. As it stand right now, industry analysts say the legal liabilities that Boston faces could run as high as $2 billion.
Information for injured parties can be found at Lawyers and Settlements.com
(Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America)