As an investor, the companies you invest in have a duty to disclose any information that may affect their stock values. In 2012, a class of investors sued St. Jude Medical Inc. ("St. Jude" or "the Company") for allegedly lying about the quality of the new leads on its cardiac rhythm management ("CRM") devices.
CRM provides diagnosis and treatment for disorders that affect the heart's electrical system that may cause rhythm problems. Leads connect an implantable device to a patient's heart for CRM. Although St. Jude's leads underwent several errors, led to human deaths, product recalls, and intervention by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), St. Jude's executives insisted that its newest generation of leads resolved such issues.
However, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation published an article stating that the Company's leads were prone to high-voltage failures, which led to more than a dozen deaths. The FDA was then prompted to investigate testing problems on device leads. According to the complaint, an executive lied about there being nothing for the FDA to find at St. Jude's facility in Sylmar, California.
In October 2012, however, St. Jude publicly announced that the FDA found issues with its practices at its Sylmar facility. Nonetheless, investors could not tell what the issues were because the publication was so heavily redacted.
Consequently, investors filed a complaint, alleging that the lies about the leads inflated the Company's stock value, which dropped substantially as the truth was revealed.
After several years of litigation and negotiations, St. Jude has agreed to settle the suit for $39 million. The Company does not admit to any wrongdoing, but decided not to incur the expenses and risks of continued litigation.
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Greene, Kat. "St. Jude Ends Investor Suit Over Cardiac Devices For $39M." Law360. Last modified on July 7, 2016.