There are a number of people who have suffered from defective IVC filters, which left them with medical bills and other financial losses. In some people, the device perforated the inferior vena cava when it fractured. The manufacturers of these high-risk filters include C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.
If you had an IVC filter placed and then suffered medical complications related to perforation of the vein, Join the Many can provide you with guidance and support. Together, we can hold device manufacturers accountable.
What Is an IVC Filter?
The inferior vena cava is a very large vein that is located in the center portion of the body. This vein moves oxygen-poor blood as well as waste products back to the heart while the arteries in the body bring oxygen-rich blood and nutrients throughout the body. In some people, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur. This is a type of blood clot that can form within a vein deep within the body and creates a life-threatening condition that can lead to sudden death. The clot may occur when the blood thickens and clumps together, according to John Hopkins Medical.
The goal of an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is to stop the blood clots that form from entering the lungs, where they can be deadly. This is called a pulmonary embolism. This filter is placed during a short procedure. The filter is a small, wire-like device designed to catch the blood clots that are moving through the bloodstream. It works to stop them from moving into the lungs and the heart, potentially preventing a pulmonary embolism.
The IVC filter is placed through a surgical procedure in which a small, flexible tube is placed in a vein in either the neck or groin and threaded to the desired location. This process allows the tube, called a catheter, to move into the IVC safely. Then, the collapsed filter is opened and left in place while the catheter is removed. Once in place, the filter expands and is designed to hold onto the walls of the vein.
Research and Studies About IVC Filters
Many people have brought claims against the manufacturers of IVC filters claiming the filters do more harm than they do good. They are sometimes prone to fracturing, migrating away from the area they are placed, tilting, and even perforating the wall of the IVC. All of these conditions are life threatening complications that many people say they did not know could occur.
These products are not new, having been produced since 1979 and with more than 260,000 people having them placed since then. However, lawsuits filed against these products provide some shocking evidence of their failure to function properly.
In 2004, manufacturer C.R. Bard became aware that many people using their products had sustained adverse outcomes using its Recovery IVC filter. A year later, it decided to discontinue the product and then create and launch a new alternative in the G2 IVC filter.
In 2010, studies began to look at the use of these products and how ineffective they are but also at the complications they create. One such study was produced in 2010, which showed a high level of complications associated with the use of IVC filters. This study, published by the National Library of Medicine, found high risks of migration of the filters in some people, with fractures and other complications possible.
That year, JAMA Internal Medicine published an article showing a high rate of potentially life-threatening fracture and embolization risks with these products. At that point, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication for the device after receiving 921 filter related adverse event claims. These claims span five years and included device migration, fracture, and thrombosis. The FDA’s warning included recommendations to remove the filters if the risk for pulmonary embolism is no longer present. Many of these filters were never removed.
In 2012, a number of lawsuits were issued for the failure of the company to provide warnings and for defective product claims.
If you had an IVC filter placed prior to this and suffered a significant amount of complications from it, Join the Many can help you get justice. After we review your case and determine it may qualify for a settlement, we’ll connect you directly with all the legal resources you need to win.
Why Are People Suing Over IVC Filters?
As noted, the first lawsuits began occurring in 2012. These are made against Cook Medical and Bard. These patients initially filed a lawsuit claiming that the products were failures, alleging complications stemming from the products migrating out of place or breaking, causing damage to internal organs as well as other complications.
The lawsuits claimed, in part:
- The filters have an unreasonable level of risk associated with migration, and the manufacturer did not warn that these products could do this, not to patients or their doctors.
- The filter has a higher than considered reasonable level of breakage.
- There is a high risk that the IVC filter can perforate the organs and that the manufacturer failed to warn about this risk.
- The filter does not tolerate the global stressors that are commonly present in the body, indicating it is a defective product.
- The filters are not strong enough, nor do they have the structural design necessary to withstand placement within the body.
- The exterior surface was not prepared properly, which leads to a higher risk of a weakened device.
The first cases were filed against Bard in Pennsylvania and California in 2012. By October 2014, there were so many cases being placed that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) decided to consolidate the initial cases across 11 districts. An MDL was created in Indiana for all such cases. The MDL helps to streamline the process of litigating this many cases against the company. Many of these cases are still pending.
The first bellwether cases against Bard and Cooks Medical failed to produce any results for plaintiffs. Many of the lawsuits against the company did not make it to trial, and those that did make it did not have a favorable verdict by juries.
However, many attorneys continued to work on the case recognizing the risks were so high and so many people were impacted that compensation was likely.
Which Manufacturers Are Being Sued?
A number of IVC filter manufacturers are facing lawsuits in a court of law regarding the defective product claims made by patients. This includes:
- C.R. Bard with Recovery and G2 Express products
- Boston Scientific with Greenfield products
- Cook Medical
Examples of IVC Filter Cases
There are numerous examples of people suffering significant losses due to the use of these products. Some examples of these claims are listed here:
- A woman had a Bard G2 filter placed in 2006. That device fractured and migrated into her heart two years later. This caused numerous health complications resulting in the need to have surgery to remove the fragment.
- A man had a Cook IVC filter placed in 2010 after having knee surgery. The device managed to break and made its way to his heart by 2014. This caused him to lose consciousness while he was driving, putting his life at risk. He needed three surgical procedures to remove the device and manage complications.
- Another person filed a claim in 2011 stating their Bard G2 filter had fractured. It was in place for two years before breaking. When it did, the pieces went to various areas of her body, impacting her heart and lungs. She was unable to live a normal life and suffered disability, impairment, and chronic pain.
Examples of Awards for IVC Filter Cases
Since the initial cases suffered defeat, numerous other awards have been successful, providing clear evidence that IVC filter risks are high and the manufacturers may be responsible for the losses individuals incurred. Here are some examples of awards that have occurred:
- In February 2019, a jury awarded IVC filter victim $3 million in a jury trial. The Georgia woman suffered complications when the filter deteriorated within the body.
- In March of 2018, a jury awarded a woman plaintiff $3.6 million in Phoenix after the filter fractured, migrated out of place, tilted, and one or more components perforated the IVC.
- A Texas firefighter won a $1.2 million case when the filter caused serious pain and injuries due to perforations of the blood vessels and organs.
In addition to these known settlements and awards, there are numerous other settlements that have not been disclosed. Many of the manufacturers could be held liable for these products – and you may not see just how much they are paying people for the losses they’ve incurred.
How Much Compensation Could You Receive?
If you suffered complications from IVC filter insertion and use, you may be entitled to financial compensation for those losses. There is no way to know how much compensation is owed to you until you speak to an attorney and learn more about the cases that are still pending in court.
Many cases are pending, and previous cases have led to very positive verdicts for those patients who suffered at the hands of these manufacturers. Do not put the right to compensation at risk.
Is There a Recall on IVC Filters?
Many people charge that the FDA did not do enough to limit exposure to risk from these products. The FDA did issue a Class I recall for these filters:
These filters continue to be a concern for many people. If you are suffering from any complications from the placement of an IVC filter, now is the time to reach out for help. Even though some of the MDLs have closed, anyone can file a lawsuit depending on their situation.