TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Guidant Defibrillators and the Macabre

Well, that must have been unpleasant, to say the least.

Kathleen Gohde's final farewell to her husband turned into a macabre scene she will have to deal with the rest of her life.

As the widow bent toward Allan Gohde's coffin last July, she was startled by a loud beeping coming from his chest, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed late Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

The source of the noise was an implanted Guidant Corp. defibrillator, the same model that was linked to the death of a 21-year-old man last March. Both men died after their defibrillators failed to deliver a life-saving jolt to their hearts.

As it turns out, the beeping that Gohde heard was a signal of a device malfunction, and if it hadn't sounded, the family might never have known why he died.

The Guidant MDL appears to be moving along.

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