Three men filed a lawsuit against Medtronic on Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis, alleging the Fridley-based company used bribery and deceptive business practices to implant defective, dangerous defibrillators in tens of thousands of patients across the country. They are seeking class action status.

The men -- George Dalton of Alabama, Gary Patterson of Florida and Donald Alexander of Missouri -- originally filed suit in Hennepin County District Court. The case was moved to federal court Tuesday. They are representing themselves.

Dalton is seeking "actual damages" of more than $200,000; Alexander is seeking more than $147,000 and Patterson is seeking $80,000. The men also ask that each member of the class be awarded compensatory damages.

Christopher Garland, a Medtronic vice president, issued a statement saying: "The claims being asserted were previously resolved in the course of the Sprint Fidelis litigation and Medtronic maintains they are without merit."

In October 2010, Medtronic agreed to pay $268 million to settle thousands of lawsuits that patients filed after a 2007 recall of Sprint Fidelis, a faulty heart defibrillator wire that caused at least 13 deaths.

Alexander has a website called "" On it, he alleges that past and current Medtronic executives and board members are guilty of third-degree murder. The three men describe themselves as "being deceived, exploited and written off as old folks living on borrowed time."

James Walsh • 612-673-7428