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IVC Filter Lawsuits, Verdicts & Settlements

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.

Did you suffer complications from an Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter?

If you've suffered from a fractured filter, device migration, perforation or other complication, you may be eligible for compensation.

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter
IVC Filter Lawsuit Facts
  1. Injuries Filter fracture; organ perforation or damage; filter migration; impossible filter removal; blood clots; death
  2. Manufacturers/Defendants Bard; Cook Medical
  3. Top Verdict $3.6 million
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Drugwatch writers gather lawsuit information by studying court records, watching lawsuit proceedings and speaking with experienced attorneys.

*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 May 2018, there were more than 8,000 lawsuits against two IVC filter makers.

Cook Medical faced 4,189 lawsuits in an Indiana federal court. Bard faced another 3,834 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 May 2018. Bellwethers test cases’ legal merits through actual court trials. They can help determine possible settlements.

Timeline of IVC Filter Bellwether Trials
  • Nov. 9, 2017
    Cook Medical won the first bellwether trial.
  • March 2018
    The judge in the Cook MDL dismissed the second bellwether. It was set for April 30, 2018, but the judge said the plaintiff waited too long after his injury to file suit.
  • March 30, 2018
    A jury in the first Bard trial awarded a $3.6 million verdict to Sherr-Una Booker. She claimed a Bard IVC filter broke and injured her.
  • June 1, 2018
    Bard won its second bellwether trial.
  • Sept. 10, 2018
    A third Cook IVC filter lawsuit trial is scheduled to start.

Neither Bard nor Cook Medical has offered a global settlement. The companies have agreed to a few individual settlements for undisclosed amounts.

IVC Filter Complications Claimed in Lawsuits

People claim IVC filters implanted in their veins broke or moved. These problems can lead to serious complications.

illustration of ivc filter perforation
IVC filters can move in the body and puncture organs
IVC Filter Complications People Can Sue For
  • Blood clots
  • Device migration
  • Filter fracture
  • Impossible filter removal
  • Organ damage
  • Organ perforation

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.

Accusations Against IVC Filter Manufacturers

IVC Filter Allegations
  • Defective design and manufacturing
  • Misrepresentation in marketing
  • Failure to warn

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.

Did you or a loved one suffer complications from an IVC Filter? Get a Free Case Review

IVC Filter Manufacturers and Brands Named in Lawsuits

IVC filter lawsuits name devices from Cook Medical or Bard. The companies manufactured several models of the IVC filters named in lawsuits.

IVC Filters Named in MDLs
  • Cook Celect
  • Cook Günther Tulip
  • Bard Recovery
  • Bard G2
  • Bard G2 Express

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 MDLs as of May 2018.

Evidence Manufacturer Knew of IVC Filter Deaths

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.

Did You Know?
An NBC News investigation linked Bard IVC filters to 39 deaths.

Bard IVC Filter Verdicts and Settlements

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.

Timeline of Bard IVC Filter Payouts
  • 2013
    Lisa Davis sued Bard over its G2 IVC filter in Michigan federal court. She claimed the device broke and migrated to her heart. Davis’ lawsuit said she suffered continuing heart problems due to the device. Davis filed suit in 2011. Attorneys for both sides told the judge they had reached a settlement in March 2013.
  • 2014
    Kelly and Chris Vlasvich filed suit in Illinois federal court over the Bard G2. They claimed the IVC filter broke, damaging Kelly’s heart and lungs. Court records show the Vlasvichs and Bard were close to settling in December 2014. They asked the court to dismiss their suit a month later.
  • 2015
    Kevin Phillips’ lawsuit over the Bard Recovery went to trial in Nevada federal court. Phillips claimed the IVC filter broke and perforated his heart. Ten days after the trial began, Bard agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

Cook IVC Filter Verdicts and Settlements

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.

Cook Medical Settlement
Cook Medical and plaintiffs failed to reach a settlement in 2015.

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.

IVC Filter Class Action Lawsuits

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.

Did you suffer complications from a Cook Medical IVC Filter? Get a Free Case Review

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.

Choosing the Right IVC Filter Lawyer

IVC Filter Lawyers
IVC filter lawsuits involve complicated medical, engineering and legal issues. Medical device lawyers have experience in these areas.

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.

IVC Filter Recalls and FDA Actions

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.

IVC Filter Reports
The FDA’s MAUDE database shows IVC filter reports dating back to February 2008.

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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21 Cited Research Articles

  1. CTV. (2016, February 23). Canadians Launch Class-Action Lawsuits Against Manufacturer of Blood-Clot Filters. Retrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/canadians-launch-class-action-lawsuits-against-manufacturer-of-blood-clot-filters-1.2790328
  2. Sandler, T. & Gosk, S. (2015, December 31). Why Did Firm Keep Selling Problem Blood-Clot Filters? NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/why-did-firm-keep-selling-problem-blood-clot-filters-n488166
  3. Sandler, T., Naggiar, S., & Gosk, S. (2015, September 3). Did Blood-Clot Filter Used on Thousands of Americans Have a Fatal Flaw? NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/did-blood-clot-filter-used-thousands-americans-have-fatal-flaw-n384536
  4. U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana Indianapolis Division. (2017, August 23). Second Amended Case Management Order #19 (Third Amended Bellwether Trial Plan). Retrieved from http://www.insd.uscourts.gov/sites/insd/files/SECOND%20AMND%20CMO%2019%208-23-2017.pdf
  5. Sarosiek, S. et al. (2013, April 8). Indications, Complications, and Management of Inferior Vena Cava Filters. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1669107
  6. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Transfer Order. Retrieved from http://www.insd.uscourts.gov/sites/insd/files/MDL%202570%20Transfer%20Order.pdf
  7. U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. (2016, December 22). Case Management Order No. 20. Retrieved from http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/cases%20of%20interest/15-2641-4335.pdf
  8. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2015, August 17). Transfer Order. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2641-Initial_Transfer-07-15.pdf
  9. U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. (2016, August 25). Case Management Order No. 16. Retrieved from http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/cases%20of%20interest/15-2641-3215.pdf
  10. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division. (2015, January 12). Complaint. Retrieved from http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2015-01-12-Ratliff-Complaint.pdf
  11. Davis V. C.R. Bard, Inc. (2012, December 6). Retrieved from https://casetext.com/case/davis-v-cr-bard
  12. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. (2013, October 31). Jury Demand. Retrieved from http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013-10-31-Vlasvich-Complaint.pdf
  13. Durack, J.C. et al. (2012, April). Perforation of the IVC: rule rather than exception after longer indwelling times for the Günther Tulip and Celect retrievable filters. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21448771
  14. U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. (2017, October 10). In re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation; Case Management Order No. 27. Retrieved from http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/cases%20of%20interest/15-2641-8113.pdf
  15. Graf, R. (2018, March 12). Cook Medical’s Vein Filter Suit Tossed as Time-Barred. Law360. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/1020877/cook-medical-s-vein-filter-suit-tossed-as-time-barred
  16. U.S. District Court, Dist. Of Arizona. (2017, November 21). In re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation; Case Management Order No. 28. Retrieved from http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/cases%20of%20interest/15-2641-8871.pdf
  17. Salvatore, C. (2018, May 24). Jury Awards #1.2M Over Vein Perforated by Medical Device. Law360. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/trials/articles/1047655/jury-awards-1-2m-over-vein-perforated-by-medical-device
  18. Harris Martin Publishing. (2018, May 29). Cook Medical Hit with $1.2 Million Verdict in Texas IVC Filter Action. Retrieved from https://harrismartin.com/article/23508/cook-medical-hit-with-12-million-verdict-in-texas-ivc-filter-action/
  19. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, March 3). Removing Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: FDA Safety Communication. Retrieved from http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722215731/https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm396377.htm
  20. HarrisMartin Publishing. (2018, June 5). Jury Finds for C.R. Bard in 2nd Bellwether IVC Filter Case After 12-Day Trial. Retrieved from https://harrismartin.com/article/23539/jury-finds-for-cr-bard-in-2nd-bellwether-ivc-filter-case-after-12-day-trial/
  21. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, May 15). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-May-15-2018.pdf
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