Guide to IVC Filter Lawsuits

Have you ever had an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) implanted and suffered medical problems? This medical procedure is done on some patients who cannot take blood thinners to prevent blood clots from entering the lungs. The IVC filter can catch most of the blood clots.

However, FDA has over the last decade received hundreds of adverse event reports about IVCs; some of the serious medical problems that these medical devices have caused in patients include:

  • Punctured organs
  • Filter migration
  • Filter fracture
  • Embedded filter/unretrievable

The FDA report that there have been more than 900 adverse event reports about IVC filters to date:

  • 70 cases where the filter perforated a blood vessel or organ
  • 328 cases where parts of the filter migrated in the body
  • 56 cases where the IVC filter fractured
  • 145 embolisms

In 2010, the FDA told the public in warnings that IVC filters that are retrievable pose serious risks to patient health and should be taken out as soon as your risk for a blood clot has diminished. FDA provided an update to this safety advisory in 2014; it stated that most IVCs should be taken out between the 29th-54th day after the device is implanted. This warning was too late for some people; patients started to file personal injury lawsuits across the US as the filters caused health problems and even death.

Accusations of Manufacturer Negligence

Medical device manufacturers CR Bard and Cook Medical are two of the companies that are being sued in current IVC filter lawsuits. Some of the IVC filters that have caused injury to patients are:

  • The Bard Recovery filter
  • The Bard G2 filter
  • The Bard G2 Express filter
  • The Cook Gunther Tulip filter
  • The Cook Celect filter

Some of the charges in the IVC filter litigation include manufacturer negligence, failure to warn patients, defects in design, defects in manufacturing, breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation.

Update on IVC Filter Lawsuits

Injured patients filed the initial lawsuits against Bard in CA and PA back in 2012. In 2014, there was a consolidation of lawsuits against Cook from a total of eleven districts. Since that time, the number of IVC lawsuits against Cook has swelled to 100.

In 2015, CR Bard settled a lawsuit out of court with an injured patient just days after the trial started. The IVC filter lawsuit stated that the Bard Recovery IVC filter disintegrated in his body and one of the metal legs went into the heart. This required the patient to undergo open heart surgery, which takes months to recover from. There are at least 50 lawsuits regarding IVC filters against Bard at this time.

Update on Class Action Lawsuits

Patients who had Bard retrievable IVC filters implanted have filed three class action lawsuits against the firm in FL, PA and CA. The lawsuits claim that patients who have Bard IVC filters that have not yet fractured/migrated need to have close medical monitoring because Bard has engaged in misrepresentation and concealment of vital information. These plaintiffs further claim that all patients who had these medical devices implanted constitute a class that needs to be compensated for all medical monitoring costs. At this time, no class has been approved by the courts.

Damning Evidence: Report States Bard Knew IVC Filter Risks

Only a year after the Recovery IVC filter was launched, the device company received many complaints of the devices malfunctioning; the company received complaints that the filter could break loose and move to other parts of the body. Bard then hired an independent consultant to write a report which compared the migration and fracture rate of new IVC filters with those made in 2004.

Even though Bard knew there was a problem with retrievable IVC filters, it failed to tell the public or FDA. At the end of 2004, the consultant finished his study. He concluded that the filter in question had a higher rate of complications than competing filters. He stated that more study was needed on the topic.

However, Bard only gave copies of the report to a limited number of employees and those were told not to discuss the matter.

IVC Filter Side Effects Can Cause Serious Health Problems

Many IVC filters, including those made by Cook and Bard, are associated with many serious complications and some deaths. The injuries that have been alleged to be caused by retrievable IVC filters have been sparking many new lawsuits this year. Many injured patients and their grieving families have filed personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits that have sought damages for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Anyone who was injured by an IVC filter could have a personal injury claim.

Warning Signs of an IVC Filter Problem

If you have a filter in place, a sign that something could be amiss could include chest pain and shortness of breath. In many cases, victims of IVC filter problems end up in the ER. In most cases, a CT scan will be used to see if your IVC filter has failed.

Other signs of IVC filter failure:

  • Pulmonary embolus
  • Hemorrhage
  • Perforation of tissue or organs
  • Respiratory difficulty

Learn More on This IVC Filter Litigation Site

If you think you may have a problem with an IVC filter, please review the information on this site and contact us for a free consultation. We understand how devastating the problems can be with IVC filters, and we want to ensure that anyone who has been injured by them will be fully compensated.

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