It will get pretty expensive for Medtronic real soon. The recall of 87,000 defibrillators meant 87,000 replacement surgeries (give or take a few). Each surgery cost $25,000 (give or take a few bucks). You can do the math.
Medtronic may have to repay health insurers for the cost of replacing 25,000 recalled defibrillators following a federal court ruling last week. In an oral order on Jan. 4, U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum said U.S. health plans can bring Fridley-based Medtronic to a civil trial to recover the money. Medtronic recalled 87,000 defibrillators in February 2005. Insurers paid U.S. doctors and hospitals about $25,000 for each replacement surgery, said Thomas Sobol, a Boston lawyer representing health plans. At that rate, private and public insurers spent about $625 million. Medtronic is defending in federal courts at least 417 product liability lawsuits, some involving multiple claimants, and 34 lawsuits in state courts, according to a company filing.