Whenever someone is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, a doctor will go over all of the medical options they have available. When someone has a clotting disorder and a doctor feels that it is serious enough that their life could be in danger, they are frequently offered an IVC filter as a form of treatment. This device, however, comes with some serious risks.
How Is The Device Supposed To Work?
IVC stands for the inferior vena cava, which is the vein which brings deoxygenated blood into the heart. This vein is one of the largest in the human body.
Whenever a blood clot is formed, it travels through the arteries and veins until it arrives in a vein that it is simply too small to get through. When the clot blocks the flow of blood in that vein, it can cause serious damage to the part of the body the vein is in. If the clot travels to the brain or lungs, the patient could die.
The IVC filter is supposed to prevent a clot from being able to travel through the body. The device is made of metal and is placed in the IVC. It is supposed to “catch” a clot that is traveling towards the heart. However, the FDA has reported some very serious complication and side effects that can cause even more damage.
The most frequently implanted brands are:
- Bard G2 filter
- Bard G2 express
- Bard recovery filter
- Cook Celect
- Cook Gunther Tulip
According to the FDA and other medical studies, these filters are prone to a number of complications including the perforation of the vein or an organ, migration to another area of the body, or the actual breakdown of the device which can lead to smaller pieces causing injury elsewhere.
Common signs and symptoms that the patient may be suffering from one of these side effects include:
- an irregular heartbeat
- chest pain
- internal bleeding
- loss of consciousness
- difficulty breathing
In fact, the FDA reported that between 2005 – 2010, they received 921 reports of adverse events regarding the IVC filter. This caused them to release a safety alert and for patients to start filing lawsuits against the device’s creators.
The First Lawsuits
It was in 2012 that the first IVC Filter lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer C.R. Bard. It wasn’t long before more plaintiffs joined the first.
Today, there are over 100 complaints filed against Cook Medical, another IVC Filter manufacturer and more than 50 against C.R. Bard. Due to the number of lawsuits filed and the fact that in each case, a plaintiff is alleging that an IVC Filter malfunctioned and caused them harm, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the cases filed against Cook into MDL 2570 and transferred them to the Southern District of Indiana in October of 2014.
A few months later, the panel also announced the consolidation of cases filed against Bard under MDL 2641 and transferred these complaints to the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
Why Create An MDL?
When the panel reviews cases to decide if an MDL should be created, they consider three questions:
- Are there one or more common questions of fact?
- Will the transfer be convenient for all parties involved?
- Will a transfer to a federal court promote judicial efficiency, economy, and fairness?
The purpose is to help with court backlog and to streamline both the pre-trial proceedings and the actual trial process by joining similar cases.
Do I Have To Join The MDL?
No, but it is important to discuss this your options with your attorney before making any decisions. In order to keep your complaint from being included with the MDL, you will need to file paperwork in a timely manner.
How Long Do I Have To File?
The time that a plaintiff has to file is known as the statute of limitations and is different depending on the type of lawsuit being filed and the state the complaint is being filed in. In New York, the lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date on which the plaintiff was injured.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Attorney
Our team is aware that it may seem impossible to pay for an attorney while you are already drowning in medical bills. That’s why our defective device lawyers work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. This means that our fees come directly out of any compensation that you obtain as a result of your lawsuit. If you don’t get compensated, we don’t get paid. That way you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.