by Howard Root and Steve Saltarelli

Five heart-stopping years as a CEO on the Fed’s hit-list.


Cardiac Arrest tells the true story of abusive threats and deceit by unhinged federal prosecutors engaged in a false criminal prosecution of a medical device company and its CEO, and the inside details of how the defendants fought back and won.

Cardiac Arrest Hardcover
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The Story

On November 13, 2014, Vascular Solutions and its CEO Howard Root were indicted on felony criminal charges in the Western District of Texas over false allegations that salespeople said improper words to doctors to sell the company’s Vari-Lase Short Kit — a medical device used to treat varicose veins that was always FDA-cleared, made up only 0.1% of the company’s sales and never harmed a single patient. A conviction would have resulted in the destruction of the 500-employee company and at least three years of prison time for its CEO.

After being forced to spend $25 million on 121 lawyers at 14 law firms in their defense, culminating in a four week criminal trial in San Antonio, Howard Root and Vascular Solutions were exonerated when the jury returned a unanimous “not guilty” verdict — even though the defendants chose not to call a single witness to testify in their defense. 

While justice ultimately was served, the effort and determination it took to survive and beat this malicious prosecution is a shocking and eye-opening tale of the American criminal justice system out of control.  Cardiac Arrest exposes the threat that every American company and businessperson faces from a badly-broken legal system.



About the Authors


Howard Root

Howard Root is the CEO of Vascular Solutions, a company he started in 1997 to develop an idea into a new medical device and has continuously led over the last 20 years in inventing, developing and launching over 100 new medical devices.  Vascular Solutions’ medical devices are used daily worldwide to improve the lives of patients suffering from vascular diseases ranging from heart attacks to varicose veins, with over $1 billion in cumulative sales and 500+ employees.


Stephen Saltarelli

Stephen Saltarelli is an author and screenwriter from Washington, D.C. whose work has been published by Sports Illustrated and other, less reputable outlets.  He is also a former (as in, immediately after the jury’s verdict, former) white collar criminal defense attorney who was part of the legal team that conducted the defense of Vascular Solutions.


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Cardiac Arrest Hardcover

Who polices America’s prosecutors? And when they turn their sights on an innocent CEO, can he navigate a 5-year, $25 million legal labyrinth to save the company he built, and himself from prison?

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