IVC filters are small, umbrella like devices that are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC) to prevent pulmonary embolism. Unfortunately, the filters have been linked to hundreds of lawsuits, alleging that patients were harmed when the devices migrated to other organs, or broke apart sending small pieces to the lungs and heart. Currently, there are a total of 500 lawsuits filed against IVC filter manufacturers, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.
Personal injury lawsuits and federal product liability lawsuits involving certain IVC filters are being organized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Richard Young in the Southern District of Indiana. Judge Young recently announced a bellwether process, slated to begin in September of this year. The bellwether process is intended to encourage settlement negotiations. However, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard have yet to reach a settlement.
Design Defects and Failure to Warn
Lawsuits claim design defects and that IVC filter manufacturers knew about the risks associated with their devices, but failed to warn physicians and the public. In addition to initial injuries, the removal process can also be quite risky. In some cases, the IVC filters are impossible to remove, giving patients no choice but to live with the filters permanently lodged inside their body. When this occurs, the risk of serious injury and death increases.
IVC filters are intended to “catch” blood clots before they result in pulmonary embolism (lungs) or deep vein thrombosis (legs). Most patients are implanted with retrievable filters, which are only meant to be temporarily placed within the body. These filters are supposed to be removed as soon as the risk of blood clots has passed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Filters are being left in patients for significantly longer than is considered medically necessary, or safe.
More than 250,000 Patients are Implanted with IVC Filters
IVC filters are not the only treatment option available to patients at risk of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Typically, anticoagulants such as Coumadin are quite successful. When these medications are not successful, physicians often turn to IVC filters, and their use is increasingly common. Currently, tens of thousands of patients are implanted with IVC filters annually. This number increased from 2,000 in 1979 to over 250,000 in 2012.
The Goldwater Law Firm – Nationwide Defective Medical Product Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured by an IVC filter or any other type of medical device or pharmaceutical, the Goldwater Law Firm can help. We have been representing accident and injury victims for decades, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. You may be able to receive compensation for damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even lost wages. If you’ve been injured, we can help you get back on your feet, physically, emotionally, and financially. Contact the Goldwater Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.