The erring pharma tycoons are reaping what they have sown in recent years. It can be evident from the pharma lawsuit updates you can see in 2022 and what is going to occur in the years to come. IVC filter lawsuits fall among them. The IVC filters, which are meant to trap the blood clots, have trapped the patients’ lives in danger.
Though the IVC filter lawsuits have seen a few bellwether lawsuits in the recent past, the manufacturers are not inclined to settle the accumulated lawsuits. Moreover, a few wins in favor of the defendants have given them hope that they can escape unharmed. However, all the IVC filter lawyers who are fighting against them are still in the hope that the wind will turn to their side in 2022.
This blog is meant to analyze the use and dangers of the IVC filters, the chronology of lawsuits against the IVC manufacturers, the results of bellwether trials, and finally, to see if there is hope in the plaintiffs’ prolonged waiting. Come on, let’s travel together to explore the details.
Table of Contents
What are IVC Filters?
An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a small device that prevents blood clots from entering the lungs. During a brief surgery, the device is inserted into our body’s large vein (inferior vena cava). Veins are blood vessels that return oxygen-depleted blood and waste products to the heart. A deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) occurs in a vein located deep within the body. When blood thickens and clumps together, it forms a clot. DVT is a serious medical condition that causes leg swelling, pain, and tenderness. A deep clot in a leg vein can sometimes break free and lodge in a vessel in the lung. This can result in a pulmonary embolism, which is a vessel blockage.
High filtering effectiveness without flow obstruction, stable attachment within the IVC, quick percutaneous insertion (small caliber, repositionable), MRI compatibility, low cost, and retrievability are all qualities of the ideal IVC filter. Additionally, the ideal filter should be constructed of a material that is long-lasting, biocompatible, and non-thrombogenic. However, none of the IVC filters that are currently on the market satisfy all of these requirements.
History of IVC Filters
IVC filters can be permanently or temporarily implanted. 1967 saw the debut of the Mobin-Uddin filter. However, the Greenfield filter, which was first described in 1973, quickly replaced other options due to the high incidence of thrombosis and occlusion. This Greenfield stainless steel filter, as well as another permanent Bird’s Nest filter, are incompatible with MRI. Simon Nitinol, TrapEase, and VenaTech are three other permanent IVC filters that are MRI compatible.
The Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA) published studies in 2012 and 2013 that provided solid evidence that the IVC blood clot filters were ineffective, failed frequently, and frequently caused injuries. Following the publication of this study, the FDA suggested that retrievable IVC filters be removed as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided. Removable IVC filters should be taken out between 29 and 54 days after being implanted, said the FDA. The FDA issued the guideline in 2010, and it was updated in 2014. Many of those who have filed IVC filter lawsuits did not have their filters removed within this time frame or were unaware that they should have been.
The Günther Tulip and Celect from Cook Medical, OptEase, G2, and G2 Express from Bard Peripheral Vascular filters are the retrievable IVC filters that have received FDA approval. The majority of IVC filters available in the market have a conical shape, such as the Celect Platinum from Cook, Günther Tulip, and Denali, as well as Option Elite from Argon Medical Devices, Plano, TX, and the ALN Implants from Chirurgicaux; Ghisonaccia, France.
Here’s a list of IVC filters to know if they are retrievable or not.
Injuries Claimed in IVC filter Lawsuits
When complications started floating up after the use of the IVC filters, many victims came to the arena with IVC filter lawsuits. The allegations in the litigation are noted below.
- Migration of the filters
- Filter fracture
- Broken components that remain in the body
- Organ or vein perforation
- Complications pertaining to filter removal
History of IVC Filter lawsuits
A favorable ruling was made against Cook Celect on May 24, 2018. A Texas jury found that Cook had not adequately informed the man’s surgeon about the dangers of the IVC filter and awarded the firefighter $1.2 million as a result. According to Jeff Pavlock, the 2015 filter that was put into him slanted, puncturing his aorta and duodenum and requiring additional procedures. The jury found that although Cook’s design was not flawed, the business did not fully inform Pavlock’s surgeon of the filter’s hazards.
After ultimately succeeding, the victims were awarded a hefty verdict in April 2018. The G2 inferior vena cava filter manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. cracked as a result of the company’s negligence, a jury in Arizona found. The jury awarded $3.6 million.
In re Bard IVC Filters Products Liability lawsuit, which was decided in late 2020 (in the ninth circuit), the victims earned a crucial win in the federal court. C.R. Bard was ordered to pay the plaintiff $3.6 million in damages. However, the company claimed that the plaintiff’s claim was barred because it was preempted by the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990. The Ninth Circuit rejected Bard’s reasoning, which is vital to all IVC claims filed against Bard.
Tracy Reed-Brown alleged that the IVC filter she received in 2010 ruptured her aorta, pancreas, and renal vein and perforated her inferior vena cava. In addition to $30.3 million in punitive penalties against the firm, the verdict includes $3.4 million in actual damages.
The makers of the Bard Recovery must pay Schaneiqua Wright $2,197,892 in damages plus $351,268 in future medical expenses by June 2021, according to a Texas federal jury’s ruling. In order to lower the possibility of a blood clot reaching Ms. Wright’s lungs, the Bard Recovery IVC filter was implanted in her in July 2005. For more than 12 years, the Bard Recovery IVC filter was implanted. Wright experienced blood clots in her lungs in January 2018 as a result of the IVC filter breaking and sending pieces of it into her heart and lungs.
The IVC filter lawsuits were warming up in 2021, as courts recovered from COVID. In 2021, three plaintiffs’ verdicts were rendered at trial. The most recent was a $3.3 million verdict for a woman with a Bard Meridian IVC Filter in Wisconsin. Her IVC filter had become lodged in her vein. Several surgeries were required to remove the filter and collect the broken pieces of the shattered filter. In July, a jury awarded $386,250 in a fractured filter case for a plaintiff against C.R. Bard. It is given after another jury found the defendant liable for these defective filters.
A minimum of three IVC filter class-action cases have also been brought in the United States. However, none of them are still ongoing. All of them were either dropped or merged into the Bard and Cook class action lawsuits.
Apart from Bard and Cook, many other manufacturers like Cordis, Crux, Rafael, ALN, Braun, and Boston Scientific were also facing IVC filter lawsuits. A number of IVC filter lawsuits that were not joined in the MDLs have reached out-of-court agreements. Unfortunately, the settlement sums have not been made public, most likely due to a clause in the settlement agreement that prohibits plaintiffs from discussing it.
IVC Filter Lawsuit MDLs
Bard IVC Filter Bellwether Trials
The Bard IVC filter lawsuits have been consolidated in an MDL before United States District Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona. Similarly, the allegations in the Bard MDL include claims that Bard was aware of the defect in the IVC filters and the resulting danger to the public but failed to properly warn patients or their doctors of the risk of IVC filter failure.
A Bard G2 filter was implanted in Sherr-Una Booker in 2007. According to court filings, she filed a lawsuit after the gadget tilted, moved, and shattered. One of the legs from the filter was still lodged in the wall of her inferior vena cava despite numerous procedures to remove it. Hers was the first bellwether case, and she won $3.6 million against Bard in 2018.
Doris Jones of Georgia was the focus of the June trial. In 2010, Jones was given a Bard Eclipse IVC filter. Five years later, she was experiencing arm pain and headaches. A medical scan revealed that the Bard IVC filter was fractured. Her right pulmonary artery had been blocked by a piece of the IVC filter. The major artery transports blood from the heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. The majority of the broken filter was removed by doctors. However, they were unable to remove the portion that was obstructing the pulmonary artery. Her attorneys argued that it still poses a fatal risk.
On June 1, 2018, C.R. Bard won its second IVC filter lawsuit. An Arizona jury determined that the company adequately warned doctors about the risks and complications.
In the case, plaintiff Carol Kruse claimed that Bard sold defective IVC blood filters intended to prevent pulmonary emboli. According to the court documents, US District Judge David Campbell granted a summary judgment in favor of Bard after reading “relevant deposition testimony, exhibits, and declaration, as well as considering the parties’ arguments” and concluding that the claim was barred by the statute of limitations.
Since that was a bellwether case, the court did not agree with the plaintiff’s suggestion that the statute of limitations defense had disregarded.
Lisa Hyde of Wisconsin had a Bard IVC filter implanted in 2011. She discovered in 2014 that the filter had tilted, perforated the IVC wall, and fractured. The company had challenged Mark Hyde, the plaintiff’s husband, for loss-of-consortium claims, as well as claims for damages for future injuries and costs resulting from Lisa Hyde’s cardiac arrhythmia, strict liability design defect, and punitive damages. Campbell determined that future injuries and medical treatment must be proven by a medical probability, not just a possibility, in accordance with Wisconsin law, where Hyde had the Bard IVC filter installed. When the judge moved in the defendant’s favor, the plaintiff withdrew her claim.
The trial date for Debra Mulkey’s lawsuit, which used an Eclipse filter, was set for February 2019. Because the Mulkey case resembled the Jones and Hyde cases and would not give the parties useful information, the plaintiffs urged the court to remove it from the bellwether trial schedule prior to the trial. The court allowed the motion.
The last bellwether trial used a Bard Recovery filter and involved the plaintiff, Debra Tinlin. Plaintiffs dropped their allegations of manufacturing defects, failure to recall, inherent negligence, and warranty breaches. On the claims of misrepresentation and unfair business practices, the court issued a summary judgment. The trial was expected to begin in May 2019 on the remaining claims for failure to warn, design flaw, concealment, loss of consortium, and punitive damages; however, the matter was resolved before trial.
Arizona District MDL on Bard IVC filters was closed in May 2019, but still, the victims can file cases in their home federal district court. The G2, G2X, Recovery, Meridian, Eclipse, and Denali were just a few of the Bard filters that faced IVC filter lawsuits in this MDL.
Cook IVC Filter Bellwether Trials
The Cook IVC filter lawsuits are grouped together as MDL no. 2570 under United States District Judge Richard Young in the Southern District of Indiana. The Cook MDL includes charges that Cook was aware of the IVC filter devices’ flaw and the public’s ensuing danger but failed to adequately notify patients and their doctors of the risks associated with IVC filter insertion.
The first two bellwethers were won by Cook as the court did not find the devise defect and negligence claims worthy. The court thought that the plaintiffs failed to prove their negligence, and moreover, their cases were either went in favor of the defendant or dismissed for not filing the case within the statutes of limitations.
On February 1, 2019, a jury verdict ordered the manufacturer to pay the plaintiff, Tonya Brand, $3 million. Her Celect IVC filter fractured, causing one of the struts or legs to pop out of her leg; the remaining pieces, however, are irrecoverable and will remain in her body indefinitely. Cook has filed an appeal against the verdict.
Since the manufacturers, Bard and Cook were not ready to move towards a settlement of their claims, all the other pending IVC filter lawsuits in the MDL were redirected and transferred to the respective district courts to be trialed as individual claims.
IVC Filter Recalls Guidelines
- Class I FDA recalls are related to harmful or flawed items that, according to the FDA, may result in serious health issues or even death.
- Class II FDA recalls could result in a short-term health issue or merely pose a modest threat of a substantial kind.
- Class III FDA recalls are issued for goods that don’t conform to FDA manufacturing or labeling regulations but aren’t anticipated to have negative health effects.
IVC filter recalls
Have a glance at the IVC filters that were recalled in the past.
The Current Status and Future of IVC Filter Lawsuits
There was a delay in the IVC filter cases since the bellwethers did not move forward with the settlement and because of the COVID pandemic, but don’t be discouraged because there is no chance of settlement that the fuss over the claims was settled. The ongoing IVC filter litigation is in a dormant state, but in 2022, the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the IVC filter lawsuits are looking to the east for a glimmer of light. There isn’t much information available on these claims because many lawyers who are handling litigation don’t keep updating the details of the IVC lawsuit proceedings online.
There are approximately 8255 pending IVC filter lawsuits against the manufacturer Cook as of May 2022. Many plaintiffs are frustrated and urging their lawyers to move their IVC filter lawsuits forward because they have been pending for eons. However, these product liability claims are unlikely to yield immediate results. Plaintiffs should be patient as their lawsuits will be settled sooner or later.
Some recent positive IVC filter verdicts for plaintiffs in 2021, as we have seen earlier, are providing a ray of hope to plaintiffs in their IVC filter lawsuits.
There are ongoing IVC lawsuits against other manufacturers too. As of now, there are greenfield ivc filter lawsuit settlements so far. Cordis IVC Filter MDL lawsuits have been centralized in Alameda County, California, where the Cordis corporation is headquartered. Over 100 lawsuits have been filed in California to date.
What to do if I am Affected by the IVC Filter?
If you were harmed by an IVC filter during retrieval or if device breakage caused organ damage, you can file an IVC filter lawsuit with the assistance of an attorney. Manufacturers may be held responsible for the following:
- Their negligence: The defendants owed the plaintiffs a duty of care, which they breached and caused them harm. The patient has suffered permanent or temporary injuries or death as a result of the negligence.
- Their product’s defective design: The design flaw is simply a foreseeable risk that the defendant can avoid. The plaintiff was injured despite using the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Manufacturing defect that occurred during production: Manufacturing defects in the devices should be identified and not sent for sale. Failure to ensure consumer safety is a serious offense.
- Failure to warn of complications: It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to warn consumers and physicians about the potential dangers of their device. Failure to warn of the risks and resulting in the plaintiff’s damages, is punishable.
- False labeling: Labeling a defective and harmful product as safe and effective is also illegal.
Damages claimed in IVC filter lawsuits
The plaintiffs can claim the following economic as well as non-economic dames from the defendants.
- Medical expenses from the past and present
- Future medical expenses as well as assistive care expenses
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of social enjoyment
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damage if the victim died as a result of the defective device
Contacting an IVC filter lawsuit attorney who has handled similar claims will be sufficient to handle your claim. Present all of your medical records and other evidence to the attorney. He will determine whether an expert witness is required to testify on your behalf to substantiate your injuries.
An expert medical record review company will assist the IVC filter lawyer in sifting through your massive medical records and selecting the valid ones to win your claims. LezDo Techmed has been handling many mass tort claims that have recently made headlines in the United States like Truvada lawsuits, Elmiron lawsuits, IUD ParaGard lawsuits, and opioid lawsuits. We can provide you with high-quality medical record reviews in a timely and cost-effective manner.
To wrap up,
Even though the IVC filter lawsuits seem to be inactive at present, some individual claims are still under the perusal of the courts. The occasional winning by a few plaintiffs makes the others who are waiting to pin their hopes on their attorneys. Like you all, we are also waiting eagerly to know the turning point expected by all of you.
Never lose heart, there is still a bright ray of hope to win the reparation you deserve.
Let us know your thoughts and opinions on the IVC filter lawsuits, and visit our page for the periodic IVC filter lawsuit updates in 2022.