A panel recently ruled that five class-action lawsuits filed against Guidant
over its recent heart device recalls should be consolidated for discovery and
pretrial motions. The involved cases include two in Minnesota and one each in
California, Florida, Indiana and New York. The Judicial Panel on Multi-District
Litigation said the cases had enough in common to be consolidated, and doing
so would prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings. The combined motions will be
heard by a federal judge in Minneapolis.