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P.M. BRIEFING : Faulty Pacemakers Guilt Admitted

<i> From Times wire services </i>

Cordis Corp. today pleaded guilty to charges that it sold defective heart pacemakers and corrosion-prone batteries and agreed to pay $764,000 in fines and costs.

Cordis general counsel Daniel G. Hall entered the plea on the company’s behalf to 12 felonies and 13 misdemeanors, including fraud and false labeling.

The Miami-based medical equipment company, which has sold its pacemaker division, was accused of distributing 2,200 possibly defective pacemakers and 6,000 batteries subject to corrosion from December, 1983, to October, 1985.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration charged that the pacemakers, implanted under the skin to regulate the heartbeat, could stop without warning. No medical emergencies have been reported because of the suspect devices.

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Sentencing was set for April 25. Four company executives also face criminal trial in September on related charges.

Cordis agreed last week to pay $5 million to settle a civil claim that it defrauded the Veterans Administration, which bought an undisclosed number of the pacemakers.


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