Cases

Overview

For over a decade, pioneering medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical defended against allegations that its Silzone heart valve put patients at a higher risk for infection, stroke, heart attack and other complications such as paravalvular leak. Plaintiffs’ claims ran the gamut from negligence, design defect, and failure to warn, to name a few. Plaintiffs also called into question the Silzone valves purported anti-bacterial effects and claimed its toxicity rates were in fact greater than that of other heart valves. Science concluded otherwise. The evidence demonstrated that patients implanted with Silzone valve were at no greater risk for such complications. Furthermore, these facts were corroborated by the FDA. This case was the largest and longest medical products liability class action ever tried in the Canadian Courts with more than a billion dollars in damages at stake.

The Focal Point’s Role

The Focal Point spent three years working with counsel to develop presentation materials for Canada’s first ever “electronic” trial. From initial Mental Mining sessions to streamlined international logistics required for staffing and managing a war room, our team developed graphics, timelines and interactive media pieces that allowed attorneys to access and display the mountains of evidence they had at their disposal. These pieces were instrumental in allowing trial counsel to navigate their way through opening statement, their case in chief and closing argument—and most importantly, presenting their case from a platform that was most educational and persuasive to the Court.

Result

After years of hard fought litigation St. Jude Medical emerged victorious. The Court dismissed the class action and all claims against St. Jude Medical.

Court

Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto

The Focal Point’s Client

Reed Smith

Steven Kohn 
Gary Jeffrey 
David Bickham

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLPGordon McKee 
Jill Lawrie 

Cases