Medtronic ($MDT) has agreed to pay the U.S. government $4.41 million to settle allegations that it sold some cardiac- and spinal-related devices illegally manufactured in China and Malaysia for most of the past 8 years. Three whistleblowers are to receive shares of the settlement.
The Justice Department brought the case against Medtronic in federal court, citing U.S. law that requires the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to buy U.S.-made products when possible or in certain designated countries. It said Medtronic sold products certified as U.S.-made to the VA.
The products involved included anchoring sleeves used to secure cardiac leads to patients, various devices used in spinal surgeries and handheld patient assistants for wireless cardiac devices.
The Justice Department said those types of purchases from China and Malaysia were prohibited under the law, adding the conduct was revealed by three whistleblowers who are to share $749,700 of the settlement.
In a statement, Medtronic emphasized it was not admitting guilt, but acknowledged using devices supplied by third parties that had been made in China or Malaysia. It said the vast majority of its products were made in the United States or in trade-permitted countries such as Mexico and Ireland.
- here's the release from the U.S. Justice Department
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