I wrote on May 24th about Guidant Corporation. Not surprisingly, Guidant has been hit with class action suits concerning its defective defibrillators; read the accompanying article. This suit does not appear to include people whose loved ones who have already died because of a malfunction of the device; however, I would have to see the actual court papers to know the precise class definion. It does include those persons who currently have the device in their body.
It also appears that someone else has purported to file a personal injury or wrongful death class action – a step that rarely works and, in my mind, is only an attempt to get publicity in an effort to get more cases.
Why do personal injury and wrongful death class actions rarely work? Because the law requires that claims in class actions must be substantially similar. Personal injury and wrongful death claims usually have such different underlying factual circumstances that class certification is impossible without the defendant’s consent. Class actions seeking medical monitoring or payment for removal of the devices may be appropriate for class action certification.
Thanks to Steve for bringing the class action suit to my attention.