Lawsuit Claims Bard IVC Filter is Responsible for California Man’s Death
C.R. Bard is facing yet another lawsuit for harm allegedly caused by one of its most popular IVC filters. This time, however, defects inherent in the device are being blamed for a California man’s death.
According to reports, Kevin Ray Meeks received a Bard Meridian IVC filter at a California hospital on February 4, 2013. Soon after receiving the implant, the device failed. Meeks died as a result of injuries inflicted by the defective IVC filter.
The lawsuit was filed by a California woman on Meeks’ behalf in the US District Court for the District of Arizona. In the complaint, the woman claims that Bard negligently sold a defective device and failed to warn Meeks about the risks.
Bard Has an Obligation to Design and Market Safe Products
Kevin Ray Meeks lived in California when he received the Bard Meridian IVC filter. Bard has an obligation to market safe products in the state. Meeks’ lawsuit claims that Bard negligently sold and marketed defective medical devices in the state. Under California product liability laws, Bard can be held financially responsible if it:
- Designed defective IVC filters
- Manufactured defective filters, or
- Failed to warn about the potential dangers of its IVC filters.
The risks associated with IVC filters have been well-documented for years. However, Bard continued to advertise its devices without providing information patients like Meeks needed to make an informed decision. Had Meeks known about the risks involved in getting an IVC filter implant, he may have decided to choose an alternative treatment. Now an Arizona court is being asked to hold Bard accountable for their negligence.
IVC Filter Lawsuit to Be Consolidated in Existing MDL
Meeks’ case is not the first Bard is facing in the Arizona federal court. In 2015, a federal panel approved a request to consolidate and transfer hundreds of Bard IVC filter lawsuits to the court. Today, there are more than 5,700 Bard IVC filter lawsuits pending in the MDL. The lawsuit filed on Meeks behalf will join these other cases.
Benefits of Joining an MDL
MDLs are created to cut down on the costs of litigation and prevent conflicting pre-trial judgments. Unlike a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs in an MDL reserve the right to have their individual case tried. However, they do get to reap the benefits of combined pre-trial processes. Plaintiffs get to share the results of discovery, investigations, and depositions.
Since Meeks’ case will jump right into the MDL, it will benefit from processes that have already been completed. The attorneys handling his case will be able to use the information that’s already been gathered in the earlier stages of the MDL. This will reduce the costs of trying the case and help the attorneys design the best possible arguments for their client.
Results of Bellwether Trials Set the Tone For Future Cases
Some cases in the Arizona Bard IVC Filter MDL have already gone to trial. The results of early litigation might influence how other cases, including Meeks’, are resolved. In April 2018, the first bellwether case in the MDL was resolved. Plaintiffs in that case prevailed. An Arizona jury ordered Bard to pay $3.6 million in damages for harm caused by its G2 IVC filter. The award included $2 million in punitive damages.
Bard has already settled hundreds of IVC filter lawsuits. If it continues to lose in court, it may be inclined to settle other claims that are pending in the Arizona federal court.