California Lawsuit Alleges MiniMed Insulin Pump Caused Serious Injuries
A group of seven plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court alleging that Medtronic MiniMed pumps were defective and unfit for the use for which they were intended. The pumps were sold in an unreasonably dangerous condition, causing plaintiffs to suffer injuries. Plaintiffs filed from California, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, Ohio, and West Virginia in May 2020. The claim has since been moved to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Six months prior to the lawsuit, Medtronic recalled 322,000 of its MiniMed 600 Series Insulin Pumps because of a manufacturing problem that resulted in either a missing or damaged retainer ring in the affected devices. The ring is designed to secure the insulin cartridge into place in the pump’s reservoir compartment. If the cartridge is not firmly in place, the pump could over/under supply insulin, resulting in either low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Severe hyperglycemia can result in unconsciousness, seizure, and possible death.
Specific Medtronic Products in Question
The California lawsuit focuses on two Medtronic devices – the Medtronic 670G System and the 630G System, which were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016. The devices simulate functions of the pancreas by dispensing the proper dose of insulin through a catheter connected to a thin cannula placed underneath the skin. The pumps provide continuous delivery to short-acting insulin to type 1 diabetes patients, replacing the need for daily insulin injections.
At the time of the recall and amid 26,421 complaints regarding the device, Medtronic advised customers to examine the retainer ring on their MiniMed pump to determine if it is missing, loose, or damaged, or if the reservoir is not properly locking into the pump. With 2,175 reported injuries and one death so far, more lawsuits have been (or are expected to be) filed against the company.