Hearing begins on medical device maker Guidant’s record $296M criminal penalty plea deal

By Amy Forliti, AP
Monday, April 5, 2010

Minn. hearing begins on Guidant $296M plea deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A hearing is under way in federal court in St. Paul, Minn., on a plea deal by the Guidant division of Boston Scientific Corp. over its failure to properly disclose problems with some of its implantable heart devices.

The plea deal calls for Guidant to pay more than $296 million. Prosecutors say it’s the largest criminal penalty ever assessed against a medical device company.

Guidant agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts — submitting a false statement to regulators about one model and failure to notify them about a safety correction to another line of devices.

Attorneys for patients who have sued Guidant have objected because the deal doesn’t require the company to pay restitution.

A judge must approve the deal.

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