Humana sues St. Jude and Abbott Laboratories for faulty pacemakers


“In addition, St. Jude’s Medical, which was ultimately acquired by Abbott in 2017, devised a scheme to stick Humana and other secondary payers with costs of surgically removing and replacing the defective devices that had been implanted in the chests of their insureds,” Humana alleges.

Humana has requested that the court require St. Jude and Abbott to reimburse all of the payments made by Humana in connection with the faulty medical devices and requests that future costs connected to the devices be paid by St. Jude and Abbott.

During its merger negotiations with Abbott Laboratories, St. Jude’s was forced to reveal the pacemaker battery defects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which issued a recall. 

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The FDA indicated in an April 2017 warning letter to Abbott Laboratory (St. Jude Medical) that the company may have downplayed the problems when they ignored information the battery manufacturers gave them that some of the units were failing. The FDA claims the company kept reports of a patient’s death in 2014 from its own medical advisory board.