IVC Filter Litigation Update

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IVC Filter Litigation Update
07.24.2016 News

Lawsuits surrounding Inferior Vena Cava Filters (IVC Filters) has been surging lately as the first lawsuits are prepared to go to trial this September. Manufacturers like Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, and Cordis Corporation are all facing lawsuits both in the United States and in Canada.

What Is An IVC Filter?

IVC filters are medical devices implanted into the largest vein in the body, the inferior vena cava, to carry blood from the body to the right atrium of the heart. The purpose of an IVC filter is to prevent blood clots in the lower extremities from traveling into the heart or lungs. They are commonly used in patients at risk for Pulmonary Embolism (PE), patients who have experienced trauma, or patients who have recently undergone surgery.

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety communication warning doctors and patients that IVC filters could cause severe and life threatening side effects. Between 2005 and 2010, the FDA received 921 reports of device failure of IVC filters. Of these reports, 328 involved device migration, 146 involved embolizations (detachment of device components), 70 involved perforation of the inferior vena cava wall, and 56 involved filter fracture. The FDA also warned that the risk of experiencing one or more of these complications greatly increases with time in the body.

IVC Filter Lawsuits

With thousands IVC filters implanted in patients each year, the litigation against IVC filter manufacturers has quickly grown. The first manufacturer to go to trial this year will be Cook Medical. Cook has tried to settle its cases since February, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement and the first bellwether trials are scheduled for this September.

The outcome of Cook’s lawsuits could set a precedent for other IVC filter manufacturers like Bard, facing its own trials scheduled to begin in mid-2017. The bellwether selection process is underway and it is anticipated to conclude in January or February of next year.

Blizzard & Nabers, IVC Filter Lawyers

At Blizzard & Nabers we have years of experience handling medical device litigation and have the specialized knowledge required to fight for your rights. If you or someone you know may have developed complications due to an IVC filter, please contact us for a free consultation.