On August 1, 2019, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved a $5 million dollar settlement in Houle v. St. Jude. The Plaintiffs were represented by Paul Miller and Valérie Lord of HSH, and Margaret Waddell and John-Otto Philips of Waddell Phillips PC.
The action related to lithium batteries in implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-Ds) manufactured by the Defendant, St. Jude Medical Inc. and distributed in Canada by St. Jude Medical Canada, Inc.
The Plaintiffs alleged in their claim that St. Jude was aware, since late 2013, that the batteries in the devices could potentially form lithium clusters, causing the battery to short, and rapidly deplete.
The settlement guarantees that those who experienced premature battery depletion as a result of shorting from lithium cluster formation, and who underwent an urgent revision surgery, will receive the most compensation, as these were arguably the strongest claims.
However, the settlement also ensures that everyone who was implanted with one of the devices will receive some type of compensation. Those who have not experienced a shortage and did not require surgery, should nevertheless have been warned about the increased risk of a defective battery prior to implantation.
This action, which was commenced on March 30, 2017, successfully resolves claims for over 8900 class members in just two and a half years. This feat speaks directly to the legislative intention behind the Class Proceedings Act, which, when used in the right cases and with experienced counsel on both sides of the table, promotes efficiencies and access to justice.
For more information on class actions generally, or to discuss a faulty or defective medical device or implant, defective drugs or product, or any other possible mass tort, such as an airplane or bus crash, please contact personal injury lawyer Valérie Lord at 416-644-5849, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 For a comprehensive review of the Class Proceedings Act since its enactment in 1993, we invited you to review The Law Commission of Ontario’s July 17, 2019 report: Final Report, Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms https://www.lco-cdo.org/en/our-current-projects/class-actions/