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St. Jude Pacemaker Lawyer

 

 

 

 

 

Unnecessary Pacemaker Surgery

Doctor / Trial Lawyer Aaron DeShaw is accepting cases as a St. Jude Pacemaker Lawyer for people who had an unnecessary St. Jude pacemaker surgery.  These cases are somewhat similar to the unnecessary Biotronik pacemaker surgery cases that our law firm is also accepting.

In the first trial regarding unnecessary pacemaker surgeries in the country, a New Mexico District Court jury found German pacemaker manufacturer Biotronik negligent in the case of Tommy Sowards, who claimed he was unnecessarily implanted with a pacemaker as a result of a conspiracy among Biotronik, a Biotronik salesman, a hospital and his cardiologist. That lawsuit disclosed a scheme where Biotronik paid improper kickbacks to cardiologists including bonuses for every patient outfitted with a pacemaker, “training fees” and payments for clinical studies – payouts that more than tripled the amount the doctor was paid per procedure. That lawsuit alleged that Sowers was improperly told he needed a pacemaker that he did not need. Sowards said that after the pacemaker surgery, his new doctors informed him that the pacemaker wasn’t necessary. It is now turned off, but his current physician says it cannot be removed without causing damage to his heart. The jury was so upset by the greed and violation of the patient’s trust, that they returned a verdict of $2.3 Million in compensatory damages, and $65 Million in punitive damages as a penalty for Biotronik’s conduct.  Since every case is factually different, this may or may not represent the value of other people’s cases who were improperly implanted with either a Biotronik Pacemaker or a St. Jude Pacemaker through an improper kickback scheme.

The lawyers from that case (some of whom our firm is working with on the Biotronik cases) learned that certain cardiologists with a high rate of pacemaker surgeries were targeted by Biotronik salespeople in hopes they would accept the inducements.  We are presently investigating whether Biotronik was able to find these doctors based upon their overuse of pacemakers manufactured by St. Jude Medical Inc.  We have been told by potential clients that they received a St. Jude Medical pacemaker, but similar to the Biotronik scheme, they were later told they never needed a pacemaker.  Upon hearing this, we investigated further into St. Jude Medical.

Our investigation of this issue demonstrates a history of kickback investigations against St. Jude Medical for cardiac devices.  First, St. Jude paid a multi-million dollar fine in 2010 in a case involving illegal kickback payments to hospital customers in Ohio and Kentucky. Second, in 2010, St. Jude’s and several competitors were investigated for improper inter-company communications concerning the promotion of its portable defibrillator devices (pacemakers), resulting in a public coverage decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Third, in 2011 St. Jude was fined by the US Department of Justice, for a kickback scheme similar to that used by Biotronik that resulted in cardiologists accepting kickbacks for pacemaker surgeries.  Given this information, combined with evidence of unnecessary pacemaker surgeries in our potential clients, we are now investigating cases against St. Jude Medical Inc., and Oregon physicians who improperly implanted unnecessary St. Jude pacemakers in patients. Fourth, the DOJ came back in 2014 investigating ongoing kickback practices by St. Jude regarding tachycardia implantable cardioverter defibrillator systems (ICDs).  These were going on at the same time as the Biotronik kickback schemes for cardiac devices.  This underscores competing illegal kickback schemes within the $6+ Billion / year cardiac device industry that resulted in what appears to be unnecessary heart surgeries for unsuspecting patients.

The US Department of Justice web site states “The United States contends that St. Jude used three post-market studies and a device registry as vehicles to pay participating physicians kickbacks to induce them to implant St. Jude pacemakers and defibrillators. Although St. Jude collected data and information from participating physicians, it is alleged that the company knowingly and intentionally used the studies and registry as a means of increasing its device sales by paying certain physicians to select St. Jude pacemakers and I mplantable cardioverter defibrillator for their patients. In each case, St. Jude paid each participating physician a fee that ranged up to $2,000 per patient. The United States alleges that St. Jude solicited physicians for the studies in order to retain their business and/or convert their business from a competitor’s product.”  The fine from the US Government only pays for the illegal kickback scheme on billings via Medicare, and does not compensate people who unnecessarily received the pacemakers. 

In regard to evidence on unnecessary Biotronik pacemakers, there is evidence suggesting that there were an abnormally high number of operations involving pacemakers in parts of Oregon, most notably Biotronic pacemaker surgeries in Salem Oregon. In fact, the Oregon Department of Justice has already fined two Salem doctors for failing to disclose kickbacks from Biotronik to their patients.    While we are interested in hearing from any person receiving a St. Jude pacemaker in any state that they believe may have been unnecessary, we are particularly interested in the two doctors who the Oregon Department of Justice investigated in that case – Dr. Matthew Fedor and Dr. Kyong Turk.  In 2013, Dr. Matthew Fedor and Dr. Kyong Turk both agreed to pay the Oregon Department of Justice for failing to disclose kickbacks in Biotronik pacemaker surgeries.  But, we have also received complaints of unnecessary St. Jude pacemaker surgeries performed by one of these doctors. If you received a Biotronik or St. Jude pacemaker surgery with Dr. Matthew Fedor, or a Biotronik or St. Jude pacemaker surgery with Dr. Kyong Turk, please contact our office at (503) 227-1233.  If you received a Biotronik or St. Jude pacemaker surgery from another cardiologist that you were later told was unnecessary, we are also interested in your case.  You may have a claim for money damages. Again, since every case is factually different, the value of your case may be different from that of other people who were improperly implanted with either a Biotronik Pacemaker or a St. Jude Pacemaker through a kickback scheme.

Our law firm is offering a free, no-obligation review and evaluation of your medical records.  The evaluation would be completely confidential.  If we determine that you may have a claim for money damages, and you choose to hire us to pursue that claim, you will not have to pay us any fees or costs unless we recover money damages for you.  to be clear, if we do not recover money for you, you pay us nothing.  You can let us know about your case by calling us at (503) 227-1233 or toll free at (866) 843-3476.

In response to the Oregon Department of Justice’s action against Dr. Matthew Fedor and Dr. Kyong Turk, The Oregonian has noted that “the practice [of financially incentivizing doctors to place medical devices in patients] is tolerated by the biggest hospitals in the state who do not require patients be informed of such payments.”  We believe this is wrong, particularly in cases where placement of the device is both unnecessary and can result in permanent injury or death of the patient.  The 15-month long battle between DOJ, the doctors and Biotronik in Marion County Circuit Court has been sealed, according to public filings in the Oregon Judicial Information Network.

Biotronik’s payments to doctors has been effective in getting more of their devices implanted in patients, and we expect to find the same with the kickbacks paid by St. Jude Medical.

Dr. DeShaw is accepting cases as a St. Jude Pacemaker Lawyer, or Biotronik Pacemaker Lawyer either as trial counsel, or co-counsel, for St. Jude Pacemaker cases where the St. Jude’s pacemaker surgery was performed when clinically unnecessary.

If you believe you had a St. Jude Pacemaker surgery that was unnecessary, call (503) 227-1233 or (866) 843-3476 for your free consultation.


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DeShaw Trial Lawyers 2350 NW York St, Portland, OR 97210
Phone: (503) 227-1233 | Toll Free: (866) 843-3476 (866-THE-FIRM)