Motion for Transfer and Consolidation Filed in Bard IVC Filter Litigation
The number of cases filed against device manufacturer Bard expected to skyrocket
On May 18, 2015, Plaintiffs, representing victims injured by Bard’s Inferior Vena Cava (“IVC”) filters, filed a motion with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking the transfer and consolidation of all Bard IVC cases. The motion indicates that there are over two dozen cases filed against Bard in twenty-two jurisdictions. These cases allege that Bard’s IVC filter design and warnings are defective.
The IVC filter is a medical device that is surgically implanted into the inferior vena cava, which is a larger blood vessel that runs from the abdomen into the heart and returns blood from the lower half of the body. The device prevents blood clots, or thombi, from traveling to the heart and lungs by filtering the clots from the blood. Interventional radiologists or vascular surgeons implant the devices in patients when anti-coagulant and blood-thinning drugs do not effectively reduce the patients’ risk of developing blood clots in the lower body. During the IVC filter procedure, the radiologists or surgeons insert a catheter into the blood vessel located in the neck or groin. They then guide the catheter into the IVC using an ultrasound or fluoroscope. The catheter inserts the filter into the IVC by attaching it to the walls of the vein.
When the device fails, it causes serious problems for patients, including but not limited to:
- Perforations, or tears in the vena cava and even the aorta,
- Migration of the metal device to the heart, an event that frequently results in open heart surgery, and
- Embolization, or the spread of filter pieces throughout the body and embedment of the fragments in organs, usually the heart.
Bard manufactures and distributes several IVC filter products, including:
- Recovery Filter
- G2 Filter
- G2 Express Filter
- Eclipse Filter
- Meridian Filter
Plaintiffs allege that the Bard filters are defective because they can fracture, migrate, tilt, or even perforate the inferior vena cava. These failures may seriously or even fatally injure patients. Recent medical studies have concluded that the device is neither safe nor effective. According to these studies, “the filters have been shown to double the risk of pulmonary embolism, the very condition which they are intended to prevent.”
In addition to the 25 cases presently filed against Bard, the motion for consolidation states that at least 200 more cases will be filed in the near future. On February 9, 2015, Bard settled an IVC filter case brought by Plaintiff Kevin Phillips after six days of trial. Phillips contended that the Bard IVC filter implanted in him in August 2005 failed, migrating to his heart and forcing him to undergo open heart surgery. The settlement terms remain confidential.
Keefe Law Firm currently represents a number of plaintiffs injured by defective IVC filters. If you or a loved one may have been injured by an IVC filter, please contact our office today to discuss your claim and talk to an IVC filter lawyer to learn more.