Blood Clot Filters Are Supposed to Help Patients, But Defective Designs Have Prompted Lawsuits.
Contact an IVC Filter Attorney to Find Out if You’re Eligible for Compensation.
On Feb. 5, 2019, a federal jury in Indiana awarded Tonya Brand $3 million in damages for the medical complications she suffered after receiving a Celect IVC filter manufactured by Cook Medical.
This verdict marks the first time a jury has found the company’s IVC filters to be defectively designed. The verdict was delivered in the third bellwether trial in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL).
IVC filters are a widely used medical device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. These small metallic devices are intended to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart or lungs; however, Brand and other claimants allege that the device caused a host of serious injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a blood clot filter implant, it’s important to have an experienced IVC filter attorney review your case to determine if you are able to take legal action against the manufacturer. Keep reading for more information on the potential health risks and the current litigation surrounding blood clot filters.
The Facts of Tonya Brand’s Case
In the most recent trial, Brand claimed that she pulled a piece of her Cook IVC filter out of her thigh in 2011 after it broke and deteriorated. Furthermore, pieces of the device still remain in her body and are impossible to safely remove.
Brand sued Cook Medical in 2014 for stricter liability and negligent failure to warn, negligent design defect, negligent manufacturing, negligence per se, breach of warranty, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.
After hearing the facts of Brand’s case, the jury ruled that the dangerous and defective design of Cook’s Celect IVC filter was the cause of her injuries. While she was granted $3 million in compensatory damages, the jury did not award further punitive damages against Cook Medical.
Allegations Against Manufacturers
Similar to Brand’s case, many suits against IVC filter manufacturers allege that the device broke and caused severe pain and medical issues. Additionally, plaintiffs argue that the companies:
- Designed, manufactured, and marketed a defective medical device.
- Pushed a product to market despite known safety concerns.
- Failed to warn consumers about the potential dangers and side effects.
- Concealed knowledge of the device’s perforation issues.
Problems With Device Removal
Many blood clot filters are designed to be removed after the patient has been medically cleared. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that the filter should be removed between one to two months after it is implanted unless the risk of pulmonary embolism is still present.
However, patients have reported difficulties removing the device due to the following complications:
- Migration of the device to other parts of the body.
- Breakage with pieces of the device piercing the blood vessel, intestines, aorta, or other vital organs.
- Abnormal positioning of the device.
Although Cook and other manufacturers marketed their IVC filters as ‘retrievable,’ the broken metal pieces can damage organs or become embedded in the inferior vena cava, making it impossible to remove without major surgery.
Current IVC Filter Litigation
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed nationwide in state and federal courts, many of which target the manufacturers Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. These are the specific devices primarily named in the suits:
- Bard Recovery
- Bard G2 and G2 Express
- Cook Celect
- Cook Günther Tulip
Many individuals who suffered injuries from one of these devices filed lawsuits against the manufacturers to pursue compensation for damages. After the number of suits continued to increase, the actions were transferred to an MDL.
MDLs consolidate similar cases but allow plaintiffs to maintain individual lawsuits. MDLs have formed in both Indiana (MDL No. 2570 IN RE: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation) and Arizona (IN RE: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation) federal courts regarding IVC filters.
Currently, there are more than 5,000 lawsuits pending against Cook Medical in the Indiana MDL.
Companies That Put Profits Before Safety Should Be Held Liable
If your IVC filter implant broke, migrated, deteriorated, or malfunctioned in any way that caused you to become injured, you may be eligible to receive compensation. However, filing a lawsuit against deep-pocketed medical device companies, such as Cook Medical and C.R. Bard, can be intimidating and difficult.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable IVC filter attorney who isn’t afraid to take on these corporate defendants. At the Goldwater Law Firm, we are passionate about holding companies that put profits before the safety of their consumers legally and financially responsible.