Along with the settlement, last month Medtronic also announced it is setting aside between $120 to $140 million to cover these settlements, about 3,800 more claims and “certain costs associated with these settlements,” according to drugwatch.com. The company is not admitting any liability.
Since having two back surgeries, the first a cervical fusion at c5-c6 and another fusion of c4-c5, both using the Medtronic bone, Leanne (not her real name) has had continual pain and difficulty swallowing, two known Medtronic side effects. She first discussed with an attorney the possibility of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon and the hospital where the surgeries were performed, but after researching and discovering hundreds of similar complaints, she decided to file a complaint against the Minneapolis-based company.
“My pain is stemming from severe nerve damage in my neck and shoulders,” says Leanne. “Because of these horrific headaches, I developed an addiction to painkillers, namely Percocet. And I haven’t been able to work since the surgeries.”
READ MORE MEDTRONIC INFUSE BONE GRAFT LEGAL NEWS
“I have tried all kinds of pain management, from bio feedback to acupuncture, but nothing worked,” Leanne explains. “My medical expenses also include time in a rehab center to get off the painkillers but that didn’t work either. Now it’s a struggle just to take a shower.”
About 750 lawsuits filed by 1,200 Medtronic victims are still pending in courts nationwide. Attorneys predict 2,600 more claims will be filed. Medtronic settled a shareholder lawsuit in 2012 for failing to disclose over 85 percent of Infuse sales used for “off-label” surgeries - meaning they were not approved by the FDA. Some of the surgeries were performed by surgeons who were compensated by Medtronic.