Poor Boston Scientific. It's stumbling under billions in debt. Its $27 billion acquisition of Guidant didn't bear the expected fruits. Now, it's paying $17 million to settle a dispute with the state attorney general over flawed Guidant defibrillators, on top of the $195 million it's shelling out to settle related class-action lawsuits. And a federal judge is letting Johnson & Johnson's suit against Boston Scientific--over that very Guidant deal--go forward.
Originally, Guidant had agreed to sell out to J&J, but then Boston Scientific wooed the device maker away. J&J sued both Boston Scientific and Abbott Laboratories--which bought some pieces of Guidant--over its failed acquisition attempt. Though the judge dismissed J&J's claims against Abbott, and a few other claims against Boston Scientific, he let the breach-of-contract portion of the $5.5 billion lawsuit stand.