IVC Filter

IVC Filter Lawsuits are being filed against Cook Medical and C. R. Bard after their dangerous Inferior Vena Cava Filters (IVC) device injured patients. Thanks to the 510(k) approval process, the medical device released to the market by the two pharmaceutical companies had a deadly high risk of breakage and malfunction. Although their use was to trap blood clots and reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism as an alternative to blood thinners, many defective IVC filters grievously injured thousands of patients after a metal fragment perforated one of their organs.

Device Type: Blood Filter

Injury: perforated organs, death.

Manufacturer: cook medical and C.R Bard

Total Cases: unknown

Settlement Amounts: EST – $100,000 over $1,000,000

Bellwether Trial Start Date:        April 2017

What is an IVC Filter?

An inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) is a medical device used to trap blood clots (thrombi) that form inside the body. This metallic cage is placed inside a major vein or artery to catch the clot while it is traveling in the bloodstream. If the thrombus reaches the heart or lungs, it could cause serious injuries or even lethal damage. IVC filters are usually used to reduce the risk of stroke and pulmonary embolism in patients who do not respond well to pharmacological treatment with blood thinners, although they have been invented as a temporary solution. After a short while, in fact, the filter must be retrieved because the constant exposure to the blood flow slowly erodes them. However, many of them have been implanted permanently.

Why are IVC Filters causing injuries?

IVC filters can be extremely dangerous. Several studies showed that since they’re left inside the larger blood vessels for too much time, these devices often break down, and their fragments migrate to other organs. Metal shreds can thus travel to nearby organs causing perforation, puncturing and internal bleeding with potentially fatal consequences. A study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that up to 25% of the Bard filters fractured and caused hazardous embolizations.

C.R. Bard tried to conceal the truth about their filters unreliability. Desperately trying to prove their device’s safety, in 2004 the pharmaceutical company hired Dr. John Lehmann, a medical a consultant. The independent physician reviewed all the evidence and found that the device was exceptionally dangerous when compared to similar products. Instead of recalling their product from the market, the New Jersey-based company decided to ignore the doctors warning and bury the report. An investigation by NBC News later found that the documents submitted by Bard to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain market approval for the IVC filters, did not mention the risks associated with the devices. In a blatant attempt to deceive the regulatory agency with a flatly untrue report, the company forged Lehmann’s signature cheating thousands of patients.

Plaintiffs across the country are now seeking the help of a competent lawyer to file a litigation and bring Bard to justice. The company must be held liable for all the damage and harm caused by their poorly designed device since they kept hiding the truth regardless of the consequences on patients’ health. Finding the best lawyer to present your case in court is the only way to seek just compensation and ask a tribunal to grant you a monetary damage award to could help pay your past, present, and future medical expenses. If you or your beloved one suffered from any injury after being implanted with an Inferior Vena Cava filter, you should file a lawsuit as soon as possible. Our attorneys are always available to assist you with free legal advice.

IVC filters side effects

Breakage and migration
Device fragmentation
Internal bleeding
Blood clots
Organ puncturing and perforation
Cardiac arrhythmias
Excruciating pain
Unsuccessful retrieval
Additional surgery

Are IVC filters effective devices?

The effectiveness of the IVC filters has even be questioned by several clinical studies, including one published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to the research, the device itself was all but effective in reducing the risk of pulmonary embolism, other than being prone to fragmentation and migration. Nearly 20% of the device retrieval surgeries failed to remove the implant, forcing the patient to take additional risks for the rest of his life. But what’s even more concerning is that so far just one study allegedly showed evidence about the IVC filter’s effectiveness. However, all the patients enrolled in this trial were also treated with anticoagulant medications. In 2015, the FDA sent a letter to the manufacturers to warn them about the metal cages’ dangerousness and quality regulation violations, and required them to recall several filters which were marketed illegally.

Cook IVC Filter Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)

To avoid conflict rulings from different courts and expedite discovery by reducing cumulative or duplicative activities, its common during product liability litigations to centralize a large number of disputes as part of a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). In October 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) transferred more than 100 IVC Filter lawsuits against Cook Medical from 11 districts to the Southern District of Indiana under the supervision of Honourable Judge Richard L. Young. The pharmaceutical company, however, opposed the centralization, arguing that the circumstances surrounding the litigation against the Celect and Gunther Tulip Vena Cava Filter models may be different. The JPML rejected these arguments, and many attorneys are now reviewing and filing new claims every day.

Bard IVC filter Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)

Many plaintiffs claim that the G2 and Recovery filters injured them and are seeking monetary compensation by filing a suit. The first disputes against Bard were submitted to the Pennsylvania and California state courts back in 2012. On August 17, 2015, more than 50 IVC filter lawsuits have been consolidated in the Multidistrict Litigation No. 2641 in the U.S. District Court of Arizona presided by the U.S. federal Judge David G. Campbell. Many more litigations are still pending in state and federal courts.

Kevin Philips vs. Bard

In 2005 plaintiff Kevin Phillips from Nevada was implanted with a Bard Recovery filter. Five years later, one the filters legs broke as soon as it trapped a thrombus as it was designed to do. The metal fragment moved dangerously close to the man’s heart, requiring an emergency open-heart surgery and a lengthy recovery. In 2012 Phillips filed a litigation in the US District Court of Nevada, which reached trial in 2015. Just ten days into court proceedings, the pharmaceutical company settled the case for an undisclosed sum of money.

IVC filter Class-action

To date, three IVC filter class-action lawsuits have been filed against Bard in California, Pennsylvania, and Florida courts. The company is accused of negligence, concealment, and misrepresentation of data concerning the safety of the G2 and G2 Express filters. Plaintiffs ask for compensation for the medical expenses they have to face continuously. Constant medical monitoring is, in fact, required even in those instances where the device did not fracture or migrate. The three class-action suits were filed in 2012 by plaintiffs Janet Roberts, Eula Huff, Sandra Lorenz, and Samantha Bouldry in Palm Beach County; by Shantel Brown and Goldie Brown in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia; and by David DeLeon and Richard Gonzalez in Los Angeles. All the claims are still pending since no court has yet approved the formation of a class.