Man says his heart could stop anytime

By John O'Brien | Sep 1, 2006

MORGANTOWN - A Morgantown man says the battery that powers his pacemaker could deplete at any time and is suing the company that installed it.

Robert Feathers filed the suit Aug. 18 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Medtronic Inc. of Minnesota.

Feathers says Medtronic sells the Marquis DR ICD Model 7274 that was inserted in him in 2002.

During that year, he was diagnosed as suffering from various heart ailments, including coronary artery disease and tachycardia. His physicians advised him to have a pacemaker implanted.

He says he was told the pacemaker's battery would last at least 25 years.

"The defendant further represented that the Medtronic pacemaker would effectively eliminate his heart problems and that he would no longer be at risk for 'sudden cardiac death,'" the complaint says.

In February 2005, Feathers says he was advised that the battery may experience "rapid battery depletion due to a specific internal battery short mechanism."

Now, Feathers says, his battery could rapidly deplete and result in his death in a matter of minutes.

He says he has suffered extreme mental and emotional pain, anguish and embarrassment, as well as medical costs, impairment of health, strength and vitality and a diminution of his enjoyment of life.

His complaint charges Medtronic with strict liability, negligence and a breach of warranty. His wife Carolyn also makes a claim for loss of consortium.

"The pacemaker was provided by the defendant in a defective condition, and as a result of which it may not function properly and has not provided the relief and piece of mind the defendant had represented," the complaint says.

Avrum Levicoff of Levicoff, Silko and Deemer in Pittsburgh is representing the plaintiff. Robert is asking for $25,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, as is his wife.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number 06-C-554

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