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An Alaska union-benefits fund is suing Abbott Laboratories over allegations that Minnesota-based medical device company St. Jude Medical, which is owned by Abbott, failed to warn the public and regulators for years that thousands of its implantable defibrillators contained defective lithium batteries.

The federal lawsuit, filed in northern Illinois late Monday, alleges that St. Jude knew more than 250,000 defibrillators it sold in the United States between 2011 and October 2016 contained batteries that could abruptly short out and cause the lifesaving devices to lose power with little or no warning. Abbott acquired St. Jude three months after the recall, so it has to deal with the litigation.

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