Multimillion-Dollar IVC Filter Verdict
Written by Faith Anderson on April 13, 2018
$3.6 Million IVC Filter Verdict Good News for Plaintiffs in Thousands of Pending Lawsuits
A federal jury in Arizona just last week ordered medical device maker C.R. Bard to pay $3.6 million in compensatory and punitive damages in the first IVC filter lawsuit to go to trial. And while the outcome of this trial is not binding on the remaining claims in the litigation, the verdict spells good news for plaintiffs in the more than 3,500 Bard IVC filter cases currently pending in the federal court system. If you have suffered serious injuries you believe were caused by a defective IVC filter, contact an experienced product liability lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file an IVC filter lawsuit against the medical device maker, in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.
IVC Filter Lawsuits Centralized in Federal MDL
Given the similarities in vena cava filter claims brought against C.R. Bard, all Bard IVC filter lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country have been consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell in the District of Arizona, as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). The first IVC filter lawsuit to go to trial was filed by Sherr-Una Booker and was selected as the first in a series of early test cases known as “bellwether” trials, which help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain testimony and evidence that may be repeated throughout the litigation.
Sherr-Una Booker alleged in her IVC filter lawsuit that she suffered serious injuries after Bard’s G2 vena cava filter fractured inside her body and perforated her inferior vena cava. And while Booker underwent surgery to remove her fractured IVC filter, a piece of the device remains in her body today. This appears to be a common issue affecting IVC filters, and a study published in 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that only 8.5% of retrievable IVC filters are successful removed. Following a multi-week trial, the federal jury deliberated for just 6.5 hours and ultimately awarded Booker $2 million in compensatory damages, holding C.R. Bard responsible for 80% of that award, plus an additional $2 million in punitive damages, for a total plaintiff verdict amounting to $3.6 million.
Dangers of IVC Filter Devices
IVC filters, like Bard’s G2 filter, are small, cage-like devices inserted in the inferior vena cava to trap blood clots and prevent them from traveling to the lungs or heart and causing life-threatening complications. IVC filters are commonly used to prevent pulmonary embolism in patients with deep vein thrombosis for whom anticoagulant drugs are unsafe or ineffective. However, thousands of patients implanted with IVC filters have suffered devastating and potentially life-threatening injuries allegedly caused by faulty IVC filters, including the following:
- Device fracture
- Perforation of the vena cava
- Device migration
- Organ perforation
- Filter embolization
Retrievable IVC filters, like Bard’s G2 device, are designed to be removed from the body once the risk of dangerous blood clots has passed. However, in 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that retrievable filters had been linked to more than 900 adverse events, including incidents where the filters fractured, migrated out of position, perforated the vena cava or embolized, meaning a fragment of the device broke free and traveled to the heart. In 2014, the FDA issued an updated warning about the risks of IVC filters, indicating that the filters should be retrieved as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed.
Bard Accused of Failure to Warn
Bard’s IVC filters, including its G2, Recovery, Denali and Meridian product lines, are the target of more than 3,500 lawsuits currently pending in the Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation MDL 2641 being overseen by Judge Campbell. The thousands of lawsuits filed against the medical device maker allege that the company concealed dangerous side effects of its IVC filters and failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the risks of device failure and subsequently injury. In addition to the cases pending against C.R. Bard, another 3,750 lawsuits brought against Cook Medical have been centralized as part of a separate multidistrict litigation, involving similar allegations of defects in the design of the Cook Celect and Cook Gunther Tulip IVC filters.
Contact an IVC Filter Injury Lawyer for Legal Help
Patients who suffered serious complications after being implanted with an IVC filter may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages associated with the IVC filter injury. While the multimillion-dollar award in Booker’s lawsuit has no bearing on the other cases pending in the IVC filter MDL, it bears well that the jury saw fit to hold C.R. Bard 80% responsible for the harm suffered by the plaintiff, while also levying significant punitive damages against the company. If you believe you have been injured by side effects of an IVC filter device, contact our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation today. We can help put you in touch with an experienced product liability lawyer who can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your losses.