Defective Medical Devices - IVC Filter Lawsuits
Patients around the country who have received IVC filters, devices designed to capture the blood clots before they travel dangerously to the lungs have led to lawsuits against the manufacturers of these filters for defective design, manufacturing and failure to warn patients of the risks. The IVC filters are place in the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body and which is adjacent to one of the heart’s upper chambers. In addition, there are now many pending lawsuits claiming that the faulty filters that have punctured veins in patients. In some cases, pieces of the fractured filter have travelled through the patient’s bloodstream to other parts of the body causing dangerous medical complications.
Surgeons implant these IVC devices in the veins of patients who because of their medical condition are unable to take blood thinners to prevent blood clots from moving from other parts of the body to the lungs. When blood clots lodge in the lungs a patient is in a very serious and life-threatening condition usually referred to as a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary emboli are the cause of death if not immediately treated.
With respect to the IVC filters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received hundreds of negative reports about the retrievable IVC filters. The reports of complications include punctured organs, fractured filter parts migrating to different parts of the body and/or punctured blood vessels.
The FDA warned of the risks that the IVC filters posed in 2015. The warning included a statement that these filters were known to fracture and then migrate through the body lodging broken parts in organs and cause perforation of veins and other organs in the body. In 2014, the FDA updated its safety communication laying out a warning saying that most IVC devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after the device was implanted. But the warning signs have come too late for many patients.
Lawsuits have been filed across the country claiming the defective IVC filters have caused serious harm or death. The principal manufacturers of the IVC filters are C.R. Baird, Cook Medical and Cordis Corporation. There are essentially five products identified as the source of the problems named in most of the lawsuits. Those five products are:
- Cook Select filter
- Cook Gunther Tulip filter
- Baird G2 Express filter
- Baird G2 filter
- Baird Recovery filter
The many pending lawsuits claim that the manufacturers were and are negligent for choosing not to warn patients and physicians about the dangers of the IVC filters, that they manufacture a defective product, that the design of the IVC filters are defective, that the manufacturing process is defective, that there is a breach of implied warranty and negligent misrepresentation by these manufacturers and their various subsidiaries.
As there are many pending injury lawsuits around the country, in October 2012 the U.S. Judicial Panel on multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated lawsuits against Cook Medical for purposes of discovery to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. There are more than 100 pending lawsuits in that MDL. Lawsuits have also been filed against C.R. Baird in Pennsylvania and California state courts.
In February 2015, C.R. Baird settled a lot of its cases after a bellwether case trial started. In that particular case, the Baird Recovery IVC filter broke in pieces inside a plaintiff’s body wherein one of the small metal legs of the device travelled to the patient’s heart and perforated it. The tear forced the patient to have an open heart surgery that saved his life, but required a very long and painful recovery.
In August 2015, the U.S. District Court of Arizona consolidated lawsuits against C.R. Baird into an MDL where more than 50 lawsuits are pending.
C.R. Baird is the largest manufacturer of the IVC filter device. The fracturing of the IVC filter and its travel through the body has caused many fatal injuries. As recently as January 2016, there was a report of a fatality that has led to a wrongful death lawsuit against C.R. Baird for a fractured IVC filter.
The IVC filters are small and look very much like a spider. They are placed surgically into the inferior vena cava by a non-evasive medical procedure. The inferior vena cava is the main blood vessel that returns blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. The purpose of the IVC filter is to capture blood clots that come most often from the legs and are trapped before they reach the lungs. Blood clots that are found in the deep vein thrombosis or DVT can result in clots traveling to the lungs which are usually referred to as a pulmonary embolism. When a patient has achieved the level where the risk of blood clots has been overcome, the IVC filters are then removed. In other words, the insertion of the IVC filter is intended to be short-lived.
Most patients who are in danger of blood clots traveling from the legs to the lungs are in drug therapy treatment with anticoagulation drugs such as Heparin or Coumadin. When these anticoagulation drugs are ineffective, many patients are candidates for the IVC filter. Some patients are just not able to handle anticoagulation medicines because of other medical conditions.
The use of IVC filters began more than 30 years ago. Tens of thousands of patients throughout the United States have been implanted with IVC filters.
It has been determined that when an IVC filter has been implanted for an extended length of time, fatal complications have arisen that include device fracture, device migration, perforation of various organs and an increased risk of blood clots Kreisman Law Offices is representing injured patients across the United States where individuals, families and loved ones have been injured or died because of this defective medical device. Implanting the inferior vena filter is a temporary fix but too often the devices left permanently in patients expose them to blood clots and serious injury or death. Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical device lawsuits for individuals and families for more than 40 years. Robert Kreisman has been named a Super Lawyer for many years and has achieved a highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell lawyer rating service and has held that highest level for more than 25 years.
If you or a loved one have been injured or died because of an IVC filter, please call us for an immediate and free consultation. Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical device defect cases for more than 40 years.
With our years of experience in trying and settling faulty medical device cases, Kreisman Law Offices provides the best possible services to our clients. Our service is unmatched. Please call us 24 hours a day at (312) 346-0045 or toll free (800) 583-8002 for a free and immediate consultation, or complete a contact form online. There is no charge for a consultation that will include an evaluation of your case.