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Joseph H. Saunders
Joseph H. Saunders
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Lawyer Subpoenaed for Guidant Documents

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An attorney suing Guidant Corporation has been ordered by the Justice Department to turn over the documents he received from the company. The subpoena, part of the federal government’s investigation into the Indianapolis-based company, requires Texas attorney Bob Hilliard to turn over handwritten notes and PowerPoint slides. He obtained them from the company during preparations for a product liability case in Texas state court.

The 10 pages include notes from Fred McCoy, president of Guidant’s cardiac rhythm management division, that show a decision was made to sell inventory the executive described as having sporadic “life-threatening” defects.

“It’s consistent, bad decisions based on profit, not patient health,” Mr. Hilliard said. “The documents I received from Guidant showed they were basically making the equivalent of the Ford Pinto.”

Guidant spokesman Steve Tragash declined to comment.