Medical device companies created inferior vena cava (IVC) filters to save lives. However, issues with the tiny implantable medical devices have injured thousands of patients and led to numerous lawsuits. These lawsuits, filed against the two manufacturers of the filters, claim that Cook Group Inc. and C.R. Bard produced defective devices that caused serious injuries.
If you suffered harm due to an IVC filter, now is the time to talk to a Kansas City medical device injury attorney at Cullan & Cullan. We offer a free initial case review to discuss your needs, rights, and options. We also handle these cases on a contingent fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win.
Call (816) 253-8606 today to put our powerful team of attorneys and medical doctors on your side.
What Is an IVC filter?
IVC filters are devices implanted in the inferior vena cava (the body’s largest vein) that catch blood clots before they reach the lungs where they can cause deadly pulmonary embolisms (PEs). The filters resemble a spider or tiny octopus. Each of its legs works as a snare to stop blood clots in the vein. While these devices seem to work well, the lawsuits claim that the legs can detach and the devices can migrate and puncture the IVC.
What Is the Problem with IVC filters?
According to a 2010 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report, the organization received over 900 incidents involving the IVC filters. These adverse events included:
- 328 cases where the devices migrated to another area
- 146 detachments
- 70 perforations
- 56 fractured filters
A study published in Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology two years later found that in all of the cases in the study, the filters perforated or partially perforated the vein wall within the first 71 days of implantation. By this time, the FDA recommended removing the filters as soon as pulmonary embolism is no longer a threat to the patient.
Even with the recommendation by the FDA to remove the retrievable filter once the patient no longer requires protection from PE, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that doctors only successfully removed 58 of 680 retrievable IVC filter devices. The rest became permanent filters.
Has the FDA Taken Action on IVC filters?
The FDA felt compelled to act after receiving more than 900 adverse reports about these retrievable IVC filter devices. In 2010, the organization issued a warning outlining the risks of migration, fracture, and perforation with long-term use. As noted, the FDA also recommended removing the filters as soon as possible.
Four years later, an updated safety communication recommended removing the filters after 29 to 54 days, once the risk of PE abated.
What Products Are in Question?
While other companies manufacture IVC filters, the retrievable filters in question are produced by two companies, C.R. Bard Inc. and Cook Medical.
The lawsuits list five of the IVC devices made by these two manufacturers, including three from Bard:
- The Bard Recovery
- The Bard G2
- The Bard G2 Express
And two from Cook:
- The Cook Gunther Tulip
- The Cook Celect
What Is the Status of IVC Filter Lawsuits?
Victims in California and Pennsylvania filed the first IVC filter device lawsuits against Bard in 2012. Other victims followed suit and dozens more were filed within a year. The victims claim the companies offered poorly designed and manufactured devices and failed to warn patients of all the associated risks before implantation.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation made a decision to consolidate the lawsuits against Cook Medical in October of 2014. This action consolidated lawsuits filed in 11 districts into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Indiana. There are now more than 100 cases pending in the MDL.
Almost a year later, the U.S. Judicial Panel on MDL did the same for the litigation filed against Bard in Arizona. There are over 50 cases pending in this MDL
As the publicity grows around these suits, more victims may come forward, adding to the totals. If you believe you suffered injuries due to one of these retrievable IVC filter devices, discuss your case with a Kansas City IVC filter attorney as soon as possible.
Can Cullan & Cullan Help Me?
It takes a team to fight powerful corporations. Our Kansas City defective medical device attorneys are teaming up with some of the nation’s leading regional law firms who are devoting huge resources to take on this fight on behalf of patients for the physical, emotional, and financial injuries caused by IVC filters.
If you believe you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective IVC filter, contact us today at (816) 253-8606 for a free consultation.