NEW YORK, Nov. 8 Wolf Popper LLP has filed a class actionlawsuit against Medtronic, Inc. ("Medtronic") (NYSE: MDT) and certain of itsofficers and directors in the United States District Court for the District ofMinnesota, on behalf of investors who purchased Medtronic common stock on theopen market from June 25, 2007 through October 15, 2007 (the "Class Period").This is the first action filed against Medtronic and alleges claims forsecurities fraud. The case has been assigned Civil Action No. 07-4564(DSD/JJG).
The complaint charges that during the Class Period Medtronicmisrepresented the true facts concerning the Sprint Fidelis defibrillationleads, and that those true facts were only disseminated to investors onOctober 15, 2007 when the Company disclosed that it would voluntarily suspenddistribution of these defibrillator leads. The Sprint Fidelis defibrillationleads were introduced to the market in September 2004 and, according to anarticle in The Wall Street Journal on October 30, 2007, by early 2007 "about90% of new Medtronic defibrillators used Fidelis leads."
By January 2007 Medtronic had received 679 reports of injuries caused byfractures in the Sprint Fidelis defibrillation leads. In a meeting with Dr.Robert G. Hauser, of the Minneapolis Heart Institute in February 2007,Medtronic was informed specifically that the Minneapolis Heart Institute wouldcease using the Fidelis leads in operations and would use Medtronic's earliergeneration Sprint Quattro leads. The reports of lead failures led Medtronic tosend a letter dated March 21, 2007 to physicians treating patients with theSprint Fidelis leads describing the nature of the lead failures andattributing the failures to physician error, or "variables within the implantprocedure." Medtronic continued receiving further reports of lead failuresubsequent to March 21, 2007. In fact the number of lead failures grew from atotal of 795 injuries reported by April 30, 2007 to a total of 1,053 injuriesreported by June 30, 2007.
Notwithstanding this increased evidence of severe problems with the leads,Medtronic stated (falsely) in its Form 10-K for fiscal year end April 27, 2007(filed with the SEC on June 25, 2007) that the Sprint Fidelis lead hadexperienced "strong market acceptance" and "increasing clinical data thatsupports these devices" since its introduction to the market in September2004. From July 2007 through September 2007, Medtronic continued to receiveincreasingly frequent reports of lead failures, with the number of reportedfailures reaching 1,661 by September 30, 2007.
Finally, on October 15, 2007, Medtronic belatedly acknowledged that theincreasingly frequent adverse reports were the result of manufacturing defectsand suspended distribution of the Sprint Fidelis defibrillation leads becauseof the high incidence of lead fractures. The Company further admitted that ithad "identified five patient deaths in which a Sprint Fidelis lead fracturemay have been a possible or likely contributing factor." Upon the release ofthis information into the market, Medtronic's stock dropped $6.33 per share or11.2% on volume of approximately 62.9 million shares.
If you purchased or acquired Medtronic common stock during the ClassPeriod, you may move the court no later than January 7, 2008, and request thatthe Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. A lead plaintiff is a representativeparty acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Tobe appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must decide that your claim is typicalof the claims of other class members, and that you will adequately representthe class. Your share in any recovery will not be enhanced or diminished bythe decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.
Wolf Popper LLP has extensive experience representing shareholders inclass actions and has successfully recovered billions of dollars for defra