Alec Caldwell from Mississippi, filed a product liability and personal injury lawsuit, after being injured by a Bard Eclipse inferior vena cava (IVC) blood clot filter. Caldwell, filed his claim in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, alleging that the Bard IVC filter became severely tilted, perforated the IVC and doctors could not remove the medical device.
Caldwell received a Bard Eclipse filter, which is a metallic spider-like medical device implanted into the inferior vena cava, a major vein, to trap blood clots from the leg from traveling or embolizing to the lungs where they can cause a pulmonary embolism.
Retrievable IVC Filters Injuries
Every year, thousands of patients are implanted with a retrieval inferior vena cava filters but they are not warned by doctors about the risk of injury from these temporary devices.
Patients tend to forget that they had this device implanted and the first inkling that they had the device, is when they suffer serious injury from a complication. There are many reports of IVC filter complications, where the filter may move out of position or tilt, puncture the vein or fracture, causing small metallic pieces to travel or embolize to the heart or lungs.
Experts say that there is a very high failure rate with these devices, which only increases with the duration of the filter in the body, and eventually all of the devices will fail. So 100% failure of the device becomes not a question of “if” but “when.”
The Bard Eclipse, Bard Recovery, Bard G2, Bard Denali and Bard Meridian filters are retrievable IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard, which are designed to be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed.
IVC Filters “No Benefit”
In October 2015, according to an Annals of Surgery article involving trauma patients inserted with IVC filters found that IVC filters were not effective in preventing pulmonary emboli, and instead actually caused thrombi or blood clots to develop.
2 Major Manufacturers of IVC Filters
There are 2 major manufacturers of IVC filters, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. The complaints in the Bard and Cook IVC Filter litigation have similar allegations, the injured patients claim that the manufacturers designed and sold retrievable defective devices that were unreasonably dangerous.
The FDA in August 2010, announced a warning about the risk of IVC filter injuries, noting that they had received hundreds of adverse event reports where filter devices broke apart and traveled to other areas of the body or caused perforation and migration.
Bard IVC Filter Claims Arizona Consolidation
All filed Bard IVC filter injury, perforation and migration lawsuits, are consolidated and centralized in Phoenix, Arizona for coordinated pretrial proceedings. U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell, will oversee the multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings. Bard Peripheral Vascular is the manufacturer of these Bard IVC filters and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
This consolidation and centralization of Bard IVC filter cases only applies to cases filed in the federal court system. According to latest court data from December 15, there are 73 filed Bard Recovery filter and Bard G2 filter lawsuits currently pending in Arizona federal court. As the litigation matures it is expected that the final tally will consist of several thousand injury and defective product liability cases.
Cook IVC Filter Claims Consolidated in Indiana
MDL has been established for all Cook Medical IVC filter lawsuits, involving injuries with the Cook Celect and Gunther Tulip filters. There are more than 200 complaints over those products centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana.
Lawsuits filed against Cook Medical over their defective IVC filters are gaining traction and moving towards trial. U.S. District Judge Young recently announced that a group of 10 Cook Medical IVC filter lawsuits have been chosen for early trial dates that will begin late 2016.
MDL Bellwether IVC Filter Trials
It is common in complex multi-district ligation involving pharmaceutical and medical device cases, to have mini trials, known as bellwether trials.
A small group of cases will be prepared for early trial dates. The outcome of these trials are designed to aid settlement negotiations, especially if the jury sides with the injured plaintiffs and awards a large damage award or in cases involving gross negligence, awarding punitive damages, which are designed to punish the company for its reckless behavior.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a licensed Texas Medical Doctor and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.