IVC filter lawsuits blame the devices for organ damage and other serious complications. In some cases, the blood-clot filters killed people, lawsuits say. Manufacturers Cook Medical and Bard face thousands of lawsuits in federal court. A jury in March 2018 awarded $3.6 million to a patient who claimed her IVC filter broke and injured her.
If you've suffered from a fractured filter, device migration, perforation or other complication, you may be eligible for compensation.
*UPDATE: Bellwether trials are underway in both the Cook and Bard IVC filter litigations. The companies face more than 8,000 lawsuits combined. Drugwatch’s legal partners are accepting new IVC filter cases in 2018.
As of July 2018, there were more than 8,000 lawsuits against two IVC filter makers.
Cook Medical faced 4,350 lawsuits in an Indiana federal court. Bard faced another 4,165 in an Arizona federal court.
IVC filter attorneys believe hundreds more people could file suits.
A federal panel combined lawsuits against each company into multidistrict litigations (MDLs). MDLs can move lawsuits through the legal process more efficiently.
Bellwether trials were underway in both MDLs as of July 2018. Bellwethers test cases’ legal merits through actual court trials. They can help determine possible settlements.
In July 2018, the MDL judge granted summary judgment to Bard on two issues in the fourth bellwether trial. Summary judgments are decisions judges may reach without a full trial.
Judge David Campbell struck down plaintiff Lisa Hyde’s claims that Bard failed to warn about IVC filter dangers. He also struck down her claim that the company committed fraud. But the judge allowed her other claims to stand. These include defective and negligent design, general negligence and a claim for punitive damages.
Neither Bard nor Cook Medical has offered a global settlement. The companies have agreed to a few individual settlements for undisclosed amounts.
People claim IVC filters implanted in their veins broke or moved. These problems can lead to serious IVC filters complications.
The filters are cage-like devices. Spindly legs deploy inside the inferior vena cava – a large vein carrying blood to the heart.
The legs can sometimes puncture the vein. Or the device can break.
If this happens, parts or the entire filter can travel through the body. That can lead to heart, lung or other organ damage.
IVC filter lawsuits claim Bard and Cook Medical manufactured defective devices.
Plaintiffs claim the companies knew or should have known their products were dangerous.
Lawsuits say the manufacturers failed to warn doctors and patients about the dangers.
IVC filter MDLs name devices from Cook Medical or Bard. The companies manufactured several models of the IVC filters named in lawsuits.
People have also filed individual lawsuits against other IVC filter manufacturers. Companies sued include ALN, Argon, Boston Scientific and CORDIS. None of those lawsuits were part of any MDLs as of August 2018.
|MANUFACTURER||MODELS NAMED IN LAWSUITS|
|Bard||Recovery, G2, G2 Express (G2X), Eclipse, Denali, Meridian|
|Cook Medical||Celect, Gunther Tulip|
In 2015, NBC News linked Bard IVC filters to 39 deaths. The network’s investigation claimed Bard executives were aware of the risk for years. But the company did nothing.
NBC obtained a 2004 study Bard commissioned. It found the Bard Recovery IVC filter had a higher failure rate than competing devices.
NBC reported that company executives made copies available on a “need-to-know” basis. And they told those who saw it to keep it secret.
The first Bard bellwether trial resulted in a $3.6 million verdict for a Georgia woman. The jury awarded $1.6 million in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages to Sherr-Una Booker.
Juries award punitive damages to punish a party in a lawsuit. In this case, the jury punished Bard.
Booker’s lawyer argued Bard executives knew their product was dangerous, but they continued selling it without warning doctors about its risks.
Bard won its second bellwether trial in June 2018. The trial focused on Doris Jones.
The Georgia woman received a Bard Eclipse IVC Filter in 2010. The filter fractured. A piece of it blocked her right pulmonary artery. Doctors could not remove the piece.
A jury concluded Bard’s warnings to doctors were adequate.
Bard settled some individual IVC filter lawsuits for undisclosed amounts. But the company has made no global offer to settle all the lawsuits in the MDL.
Court records show the company settled at least three cases between 2013 and 2015. Those lawsuits involved Bard’s Recovery and G2 IVC filters.
Cook Medical won the first bellwether trial in its multidistrict litigation.
The MDL judge scheduled a series of settlement talks between the company and people suing it in 2015. The judge hoped to resolve cases before trial.
Attorneys failed to reach a settlement. But the outcome of ongoing bellwether trials may shape an agreement in the future.
In May 2018, a Texas jury awarded a $1.2 million verdict to a man who claimed a Cook Celect IVC filter injured him.
The lawsuit was not part of the bellwethers. It took place in Texas state court.
Houston firefighter Jeff Pavlock claimed the device damaged his aorta and small intestine. Cook Medical promised an appeal.
Boston Scientific’s Greenfield filter is also named in lawsuits. There is no MDL involving Greenfield IVC filters, but lawyers have filed individual lawsuits.
Boston Scientific recalled 18,000 Greenfield filters in 2005. The company warned that a part could detach and potentially cause a heart or lung embolism. Boston Scientific issued a second recall that same year because some Greenfield filters could cause blood vessel damage.
A 2016 study looked at the failure of IVC filters to fully open after doctors implanted the devices. The study in journal Cardiovascular Diagnosis & Therapy said the failure rate for Greenfield filters had been as high as 71 percent.
U.S. patients who suffered IVC filter injuries filed three IVC filter class action lawsuits. Courts either dismissed them or combined them into the multidistrict litigations.
There are no current IVC filter class action lawsuits in the U.S.
Law firms launched at least two class actions in Canada. Both Canadian class actions targeted Cook Medical’s IVC filters.
Few medical device lawsuits in the U.S. are class actions. Class actions in the U.S. require that all people suffered the same injury. And each person receives an equal share of any settlement reached.
IVC filter injuries vary from person to person. Some injuries may be more severe than others. In MDLs, more severe injuries may result in larger awards.
People must file a lawsuit if they want compensation for an IVC filter injury.
Medical device cases are complex.
IVC filter lawyers usually have experience in complicated medical device lawsuits.
Most IVC filter attorneys provide free consultations. They usually charge clients only if they win a verdict or settlement.
People talking to a lawyer about an IVC filter lawsuit should ask about these costs up front.
There were six major IVC filter recalls between 2005 and 2015. Manufacturers have not issued an IVC filter recall since 2015.
Most IVC filter lawsuits target devices Bard or Cook never recalled.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tracks IVC filter complications. The FDA’s database shows thousands of reports on IVC filter complications.
Patients, doctors and manufacturers file the reports when they experience a problem. More than 500 reports came in during the first two months of 2018 alone.
The FDA issued an IVC filter Safety Communication in 2010. The agency updated it in 2014.
The FDA advised doctors to remove retrievable IVC filters as soon as they are no longer needed. The FDA said the ideal time for removing IVC filters is between 29 and 54 days after implantation.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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