June 10 Medical equipment maker Medtronic Inc
said Tuesday an independent committee had investigated
shareholder claims that it had underreported side effects of its
Infuse bone-growth stimulation product and it would not be
pursuing those claims.
Demands for legal action against current and former
officers, directors, employees and physician-consultants were
not in the company's best interest, the panel found, according
to a Medtronic filing with the Securities and Exchange
The committee, formed two years ago, included a retired
Minnesota state court judge and a corporate law professor. It
reported on its conclusions to the company's board of directors
on May 30, Medtronic said.
Medtronic said it would be seeking to dismiss two different
consolidated shareholder lawsuits.
Infuse was once hailed as a major advance in spinal fusion
surgery, offering an alternative to painful bone harvesting from
other parts of the body to perform a bone graft.
But in 2011, Infuse became the subject of investigations by
the U.S. Senate and Department of Justice over off-label use of
the product and omissions of safety problems from its clinical
The product drew intense public scrutiny after the
influential Spine Journal ran an entire issue criticizing it in
June 2011, charging that surgeons who were paid tens of millions
of dollars by Medtronic failed to report serious complications
such as male sterility, increased risk of cancer, infections,
pain and bone dissolution.
Just last week, insurer Humana Inc said it had filed
a lawsuit against the company accusing it of having falsely
represented the product.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Bernadette Baum)