IVC Filter Settlements: 2018 Trial Verdicts & Payouts

IVC Filter Settlements: 2018 Trial Verdicts & Payouts 2018-09-25T12:23:12+00:00
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Did you or a loved one suffer severe injuries after receiving an IVC filter? There is still time to file a product liability lawsuit. Our compassionate attorneys are here to help.

  • Contact us today for a free consultation
  • Millions secured in compensation for clients
  • You pay nothing until we recover damages

Learn more about your legal options at no cost and no obligation. You have nothing to lose from reaching out.

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We believe IVC filter manufacturers should be held accountable.

— Laurence Rosen, Esq.
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The IVC filter litigation is growing at a rapid pace. As of September 2018, more than 8,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against the two leading IVC filter manufacturers, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, with smaller litigations against Boston Scientific, Cordis Corporation, Argon Medical Services, ALN Implants and B. Braun Interventional Systems.

IVC Filter Lawsuits Consolidated As Multi-District Litigations

Lawsuits against C.R. Bard and Cook Medical have been consolidated in two separate Multi-District Litigations.

Surgeon Putting On Gloves

C.R. Bard lawsuits, which center around the company's Recovery, G2 and G2 Express filters, have been transferred to the United States District Court of Arizona.

The lawsuits against Cook Medical, which involve Cook's Celect and Günther Tulip filters, have found their home in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

In these two jurisdictions, thousands of cases have undergone coordinated pre-trial proceedings, allowing the claims to be processed in an efficient manner. As the cases are prepared for trial, conversations have come to focus on the possibility of IVC filter settlements.

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Bellwether Trials Play Out In Federal Courts

Bellwether trials are now underway in both litigations.

Bellwether trials help to test the merits of legal arguments, by sending a select group of legal claims through actual trials. The results of bellwether trials can help to structure settlement conversations.

To date, the results from these bellwether trials have been mixed.

Cook Medical Bellwether Trials

In the Cook Medical litigation, the defendant medical device manufacturer won its first bellwether trial. The second test case was dismissed after Judge Richard L. Young held that the plaintiff in the second case had waited too long after suffering his injuries to file a lawsuit. A third bellwether trial is scheduled for September 2018.

Outside of the MDL, Cook Medical has lost at least one trial, Law360 reports. In a case tried in Texas state court, Cook was ordered to pay $1.2 million in damages to a Houston-area firefighter, who alleged that a Cook-made Celect IVC filter had migrated, embedding itself in his inferior vena cava. The plaintiff alleged that the filter's metal struts perforated his aorta and small intestine. He underwent two surgical procedures to have the device removed, according to court documents, but both operations were unsuccessful.

C.R. Bard Bellwether Trials

C.R. Bard, on the other hand, lost its first bellwether trial. In that trial, a female plaintiff, who claimed that her Bard-made IVC filter had broken apart inside the vein, was awarded $3.6 million in compensation. Jurors in the case determined that Bard had failed to warn of the IVC filter's risks, holding the company 80% liable for the plaintiff's injuries. Additionally, Bard was ordered to pay the plaintiff $2 million in punitive damages, which are assessed to punish defendants for particularly egregious conduct.

After this first trial loss, Bard went on to win its second bellwether trial, which was held in June of 2018. A third test case, conducted in July 2018, was dismissed due to the statute of limitations, a state-based law that limits the amount of time plaintiffs have to file suit.

Two more bellwether cases are slated for trial in the Bard Multi-District Litigation, scheduled for November 2018 and February 2019 respectively.

Attorneys Believe Thousands More Could File Suit

Despite these early mixed results, attorneys and plaintiffs are still confident that IVC filter lawsuits will ultimately prevail in court. The evidence against IVC filter manufacturers is still strong, attorneys say, highlighting a 2015 NBC investigation that linked C.R. Bard's Recovery and G2 filters to nearly 40 patient deaths.

NBC reporters accused high-level Bard officials of understanding these risks, but doing nothing, for years. Legal experts believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of injured patients who have to yet to step forward could still file lawsuits.

C.R. Bard Settles Three Cases For Undisclosed Amounts

As of yet, neither C.R. Bard nor Cook Medical have made any global settlement offers. A global settlement would bring to a resolution all of the claims against these companies to a resolution. Instead, the companies appear poised to allow bellwether trials to take their course. Even so, court records suggest that, prior to the consolidation of claims, C.R. Bard settled at least 3 individual IVC filter cases for undisclosed amounts.

In 2011, a Michigan plaintiff filed suit against C.R. Bard, accusing the company of marketing a dangerous and defective IVC filter. According to court documents, the plaintiff claimed to have received an IVC filter that ultimately broke, traveling into her heart and causing ongoing heart problems. The litigation stretched on for over 2 years, until, in 2013, attorneys told a Michigan federal judge that they had reached an undisclosed settlement agreement to resolve plaintiff's lawsuit.

In 2014, a second C.R. Bard IVC filter lawsuit, this one filed over the company's G2 filter, came to a close. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the G2 filter broke apart after implantation, leading to extensive lung and heart damage. In December 2014, the case was dismissed after an undisclosed settlement agreement was reached.

In 2015, one man's IVC filter lawsuit against Bard reached trial. In his lawsuit, the plaintiff said a Recovery filter had fractured inside him, eventually perforating a chamber of his heart. Bard chose to settle the case for an undisclosed amount 10 days after the trial had begun.

The Problem With IVC Filters

IVC filters are small, net-like medical devices used to reduce the risks of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, a severe and life-threatening medical condition in which one or more blood clots flow into the lungs, impeding blood flow and oxygen uptake. With their spindly, metal legs, IVC filters are deployed inside the inferior vena cava, the largest artery in the body.

But in their lawsuits, plaintiffs describe horrific IVC filter complications. The FDA continues to receive reports of severe IVC filter injuries, including filter fractures and "embolizations," in which the entire filter or one of its broken components travels into the lungs or heart to cause damage. Some patients have been left with permanent injuries, requiring multiple open surgical procedures. Others, tragically, have died from their injuries, leading to a wave of wrongful death claims.

In court documents, plaintiffs from across the country accuse IVC filter manufacturers large and small of manufacturing a dangerous medical device without sufficient evidence to support its use. Plaintiffs claim that IVC filter manufacturers knew or should have known about the dangers, but failed to warn the public and medical community.

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