COA: Guidant suit to stay in Indiana

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The state's second-highest appeals court is allowing a class-action lawsuit involving Guidant Corp. defibrillators to proceed in Marion County, though the ruling won't affect similar federal or state suits.

A three-judge Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday in Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. Ryan Terry and Linda Mason, No. 49A04-0704-CV-240, that Terry and Mason could continue a class-action product-liability lawsuit against Guidant over now-recalled defibrillators or pacemakers.

Minnesota-based Cardiac Pacemakers Inc., a subsidiary of Guidant, manufactured the devices and wanted to get involved in the suit so that it could be moved to a federal court in its home state, where many similar cases have been moved for pre-trial proceedings.

Guidant announced a collective settlement of the federal court cases earlier this year; those are on hold while individual plaintiffs determine whether to accept that settlement.

This Indiana case is not affected by the federal halt, but Cardiac Pacemakers argued that the plaintiffs, Linda Mason and Ryan Terry, were trying to sidestep the federal litigation by keeping their case in state court.

Attorneys representing Mason and Terry seek to recover damages on behalf of a class of "several thousand" Hoosiers who received the defective defibrillators.

Marion Superior Judge Robyn Moberly denied Cardiac Pacemakers from intervening and ordered the case to remain in Indiana so no undue burden would be placed on the individuals suing and delays wouldn't be added by transferring the case to a federal court.

"The desire to resolve disputes between citizens of Indiana in our local courts outweighs the benefit of federal jurisdiction in this lawsuit as this time," Judge Moberly wrote in her Jan. 2 order. "Hoosiers rightfully expect that when they have a dispute with another Hoosier, that they will not have to travel to Minnesota, or any other state, to have their day in court."

The decision is Not for Publication. Attorneys have 30 days from the decision to decide whether they want to ask for the ruling to be published.Indianapolis-based Guidant was acquired for $27 billion in May 2006 by Boston Scientific Corp., which is headquartered in Natick, Mass.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.