ALERT: Your health is top priority. We’re committed to providing reliable COVID-19 resources to keep you informed and safe.

Firefighter Wins $1.2 Million Verdict in Cook IVC Filter Lawsuit


Editors carefully fact-check all Drugwatch content for accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Texas flag with gavel

A Texas state jury awarded $1.2 million to a man who claimed a Cook Celect IVC filter caused serious injuries.

Houston firefighter Jeffrey Pavlock suffered blood vessel and organ perforations. The jury found Cook Medical failed to warn doctors and patients of IVC filter risks. Cook Medical said it will appeal the jury’s decision.

Pavlock received the Celect filter in 2015. A surgeon implanted the filter to prevent blood clots from reaching Pavlock’s heart and lungs.

The Celect IVC filter was temporary. Doctors planned to remove the filter when the blood clot danger passed.

But doctors were unable to retrieve it seven weeks later. The filter moved and embedded itself in a blood vessel. The Celect filter’s legs also perforated Pavlock’s aorta and small intestine.

A second surgery to remove it was also unsuccessful. Pavlock’s IVC filter lawsuit claimed the device could move or break again. Pavlock said he needed lifetime health monitoring.

IVC Filters Linked to Serious Injuries and Deaths

An NBC news investigation linked IVC filters to 39 deaths. Thousands of people have reported serious IVC filter complications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Injured by complications related to an IVC filter? Get a Free Case Review

The filters are cage-like devices designed to catch blood clots. Doctors place them in the inferior vena cava, which is the largest vein in the body.

Cook’s Celect model is a retrievable version of IVC filter. The FDA recommends removing the filter between 29 and 54 days after implantation.

Complaints say the devices embedded themselves in the inferior vena cava. Other reports say the filters migrated through the body and perforated blood vessels or organs.

Thousands of IVC Filter Lawsuits Underway

There are more than 8,000 IVC filter lawsuits in federal court. They claim IVC filters caused serious complications or death.

Most of the lawsuits are part of two federal multidistrict litigations (MDLs). MDLs combine similar lawsuits to move them more efficiently through the legal process.

As of May 15, 2018, Cook Medical faced 4,189 lawsuits in its MDL. Bard faced another 3,934 in a second MDL.

Bellwether trials are underway in both MDLs. Bellwethers are “test cases.” Courts try a few, representative lawsuits in the MDL. The outcome can help both sides gauge their arguments.

Bellwethers can lead to settlements. Or they can influence people to drop their lawsuits.

Bard lost its first bellwether in March. A jury awarded $3.6 million to a woman who claimed a Bard IVC filter injured her.

Cook won its first bellwether trial in November 2017. A judge dismissed the second bellwether four months later. A third Cook bellwether is set for September 2018.

Pavlock’s lawsuit was not part of the MDLs. Pavlock filed his lawsuit in state court in Texas.

Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By
Emily Miller
Emily Miller Managing Editor

5 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. Salvatore, C. (2018, May 25). Jury Awards $1.2M Over Vein Perforated by Medical Device. Law360. Retrieved from
  2. Harris Martin Publishing. (2018, May 29). Cook Medical Hit With $1.2 Million Verdict in Texas IVC Filter Action. Retrieved from
  3. Cook Medical. (2018, May 24). Cook Medical Vows to Continually Defend Life-Saving Technology. Retrieved from
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, March 3). Removing Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: FDA Safety Communication. Retrieved from
  5. Gosk, S. and Sandler, T. (2015, December 31). Why Did Firm Keep Selling Problem Blood-Clot Filters? NBC News. Retrieved from
View All Sources
Call to speak with a legal expert
Who Am I Calling?

Calling this number connects you with one of Drugwatch's trusted legal partners. A law firm representative will review your case for free.

Drugwatch's trusted legal partners support the organization’s mission to keep people safe from dangerous drugs and medical devices. For more information, visit our partners page.

(833) 733-0578