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Edwards Appealing Verdict in Product Lawsuit

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Brent Adams
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According to Edwards Lifesciences Corp., it plans to fight a punitive damage award worth $40.1 million that stems from a product liability lawsuit.

The Irvine, California device maker has asked that the Washington State Court of Appeals review the verdict of a jury in Snohomish County, Washington against the company in a case involving a man whose heart was burned by a malfunctioning monitor.

The jury’s decision was upheld by a judge who, in March, ordered that Edwards pay the damages to Mount Vernon, Washington resident Paramijt Singh.

A malfunctioning Edwards monitor caused damage to Singh’s heart. The jury found that Edwards failed to warn users of the monitor’s dangers.

In March, Edwards said it believed the award would not hold up upon appeal and that the problem causing the malfunction in the monitor had been corrected.

In 2004, 54-year-old Singh checked into Providence Everett Medical Center in order to undergo cardiac bypass surgery when the monitor malfunctioned, causing a catheter to overheat and burn his heart, according to one of his attorneys.

Edwards placed the blame on the hospital, alleging that it had used a damaged cable, but was also ordered to pay $310,000 to the hospital.

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