As of September of 2018, there were over 9,000 lawsuits filed against two major IVC filter manufacturers, and that number is projected to continue to grow. Here, the medical product liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos give an overview of IVC filter litigation, including the fifth Bard bellwether trial which began in February 2019.
What are IVC Filters?
Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters, are medical devices that are designed to prevent blood clots in individuals who cannot take blood thinners. The filters are cage-like devices that are implanted through the groin or neck area and inserted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood to the heart. The thin legs of the filter catch large blood clots before they can reach the lungs, heart or other major vital organ. IVC filters are usually implanted by a interventional radiologist or a vascular surgeon.
What are the Complications Surrounding IVC Filters?
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against major IVC filter manufacturers due to claims that the devices caused major complications such as organ damage and even death due to defects in the filter design. Lawsuits filed allege that the faulty design of the IVC filters make the devices susceptible to breaking, fracturing, tilting, moving or perforating the inferior vena cava. These defects increase the risk of broken IVC filter pieces traveling throughout the body and causing internal damage.
Most lawsuit claims include complications such as blood clots, device migration, filter fracture, difficult or impossible filter removal, organ damage, organ perforation, and more, and individuals who have been injured claim that the companies were aware of, or should have been aware of, the the potential dangers of the IVC filters but neglected to warn doctors and patients of the possible complications.
What Were the Results of Previous Trials?
While there is a extensive list of medical companies named in IVC filter litigation, including ALN, Argon, Boston Scientific, CORDIS and more, the two largest corporations being sued for faulty IVC filters include Cook Medical and Bard. Bellwether trials, which are test cases used to determine potential settlements of a widely disputed issue, began in multidistrict litigations (MDLs) concerning the two companies in July 2018. While Cook Medical and Bard won the first two bellwether trials in November 2017 and June 2018, respectively, a jury in the first Bard trial awarded a $3.6 million verdict to Sherr-Una Booker, who claimed her Bard IVC filter broke and caused injury.
What Current and Future Trials are Scheduled?
While the third and fourth bellwether trials against Bard were won by the defendant in July and September 2018, the fifth bellwether case began in February 2019. In addition, a sixth Bard bellwether trial is scheduled for May 2019, and the companies have agreed to several individual settlements for undisclosed amounts, though neither corporation has offered a global settlement.
Discuss Your Options with a Medical Product Liability Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
The potential complications associated with IVC filters manufactured by Bard, Cook Medical and other major medical product corporations are severe and even life-threatening, and those who suffer medical complications as a result of a faulty IVC filter deserve compensation to cover the costs of further medical attention as well as personal and emotional injury. The legal team at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos urge those who have been affected by defective IVC filters to contact our medical device liability attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.