Survivors of former House Speaker Jeff Groscost have filed a second lawsuit in a month in connection with his November 2006 death.
Groscost’s widow, Dana Groscost, alleges in the lawsuit filed Nov. 3 that his death may have been caused by a defective implanted defibrillator or a host of doctors who did not properly prepare his blood vessels before the implant surgery.
In a separate lawsuit filed Oct. 2, Dana Groscost alleges that another set of doctors failed to conduct a basic cardiac test and worsened an existing heart condition by performing an unnecessary gallbladder surgery.
Mesa attorney Kevin Chapman, who represents Dana Groscost and her children, said the lawsuits were filed to meet the two-year statute of limitation while the investigation into the cause of her husband’s death continued.
If they weren’t filed by two years, then Dana Groscost would have lost her right to bring suit.
Chapman said Dana Groscost was not seeking publicity and he declined further comment.
Groscost, once one of the most powerful politicians in the state, died at age 45 of heart failure in his Gilbert home on Nov. 3, 2006.
He spent the last few years of his life working behind the scenes in politics after a crushing election defeat in the aftermath of legislation he pushed that gave lucrative tax credits to people who bought vehicles that use alternative fuel. The measure cost taxpayers an estimated $167 million.
According to the lawsuits, Groscost began feeling pain and pressure in his chest and shortness of breath on Oct. 2, 2006.
Over the next month, he visited various doctors and was in and out of the hospital for the gallbladder surgery and the surgery to implant the defibrillator, which is a device that shocks the heart when dangerous rhythms are detected.
The newest lawsuit alleges product liability against Boston Scientific Corporation, which in 2006 bought Guidant, the maker of the defibrillator Groscost had.
Guidant had been having problems with its products since 2005 and more than 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against the company alleging it concealed flaws, according to press reports and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Company spokeswoman Annete Ruzicka said federal privacy laws restrict the company from commenting.
While many of Guidant’s products have been recalled, the model implanted in Groscost hadn’t been. But the company did release a warning to patients and doctors in March 2006 that some of them had malfunctioned before being implanted, according to the company’s Web site.