Judge Denies Bard Request for New Trial Over Dangerous IVC Filters
When big drug companies are hit with unfavorable jury verdicts, they often fight them. A case in point is C.R. Bard, the subject of a $3.6 million verdict in April. This month, a judge denied Bard’s request for a new trial over dangerous IVC filters.
The company was fighting a $3.6 million jury verdict awarded to Sherri Booker in April after the device intended to prevent blood clots shattered in her body. Of that award, $2 million was punitive damages intended to punish the manufacturer of the hazardous medical device.
On June 19, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell denied IVC filter manufacturer C.R. Bard’s requests for a new trial or judgment over this important bellwether trial.
Bard has fought the verdict that may open the doors to many more. The company branded the verdict “irreconcilably inconsistent” and tried to get a new trial. Thousands of cases are pending over dangerous IVC filters.
What Do IVC Filters Do?
IVC filters are inferior vena cava filters. These small metal devices are implanted in the largest vein in the human body, the vena cava. This vein takes de-oxygenated blood from the lower extremities to the right atrium of the heart and then on to the lungs.
IVC filters are often used for patients who suffer from conditions like deep vein thrombosis in their legs. These devices are meant to prevent blood clots from breaking off and migrating to the brain, heart, and lungs where they can kill a patient.
Surgeons often place IVC filters in patients who face the risk of pulmonary embolism when treatments like anticoagulant (blood thinning) therapy is not possible or has proved to be ineffective. IVC filters have been used since 1979. In recent years, more and more concerns have been raised.
What Are the Dangers of IVC Filters?
There are many dangers of IVC filters related to the breaking up and migration of the devices. Information from the National Center for Biotechnological Information found between 2002 and 2005 alone there were 16 cases of filter migration to the heart, two cases of migration to other locations in the body, five cases of bleeding, three cases of IVC filters perforating, and eight cases of filters fracturing.
The large number of lawsuits pending against Bard suggest this is the tip of the iceberg.
IVC filters can migrate from the position they are placed in to the heart, or to the pulmonary outflow tract. When a filter migrates to a patient’s heart, a high-risk surgery is needed.
How Many Lawsuits Have Been Filed Over IVC Filters?
As of May 2018, more than 8,000 lawsuits had been filed in the courts over complications caused by IVC filters. Bard faced 3,834 IVC filter lawsuits. Cook, another manufacturer faced 4,189 lawsuits over claims from its IVC filters.
How Many People Have Died from Dangerous IVC Filters?
An investigation on NBC News linked Bard IVC filters to 39 deaths in the United States. The investigative team claimed Bard executives knew of the risk of IVC filters for years but did nothing. Given that Bard is only one of the IVC filter manufacturers, the actual death toll from IVC filters is likely much higher.
Which Companies Are Being Sued Over Dangerous IVC Filters?
The three main companies being sued over IVC filters are Boston Scientific for its Greenfield device, C.R. Bard (G2 Express and Recovery) and Cook Medical (Celect and Günther Tulip).
In May 24, a Texas jury awarded a firefighter $1.2 million over a Cook Celect device. The jury found that Cook should have properly warned the firefighter’s surgeon of the risks of its IVC filter but failed to do so.
The prospect of further trials over IVC filters is one the drug companies are keen to fight given these big verdicts. Often companies in this position consider making large settlements.
How to Join an IVC Filter Lawsuit
If you have been injured by the migration or disintegration of an IVC filter, it’s important to contact an experienced Virginia Beach injury lawyer as soon as possible and we will include you in the lawsuit. Many people hurt by these devices have not yet contacted a dangerous medical devices lawyer. Sadly, in some cases, patients have failed to survive the complications from a wayward IVC filter. You may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call us at (757) 455-0077.