US District Judge Richard L. Young, overseeing Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Product Liability
Litigation, MDL 2570, ruled that the first bellwether trial will focus on the Celect IVC filter, and the second on the Gunther Tulip filter.
The current lineup is:
- Hill v. Cook Medical, Inc., 1:14- cv-6016-RLY-TAB. In this case, the Celect filter was implanted before Ms. Hill’s scheduled back surgery. She claims the filter migrated and perforated her vena cava and duodenum. She was 57 years old at the time. After at least one failed retrieval attempt, the Celect filter was successfully removed percutaneously two years after implant using advanced retrieval techniques.
- Gage v. Cook Medical, Inc., 1:14-cv-1875-RLY-TAB. Mr. Gage was implanted with the Günther Tulip filter after experiencing gross hematuria while on anti-coagulation medicine. He was 61 years old at the time, and has a history of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Mr. Gage alleges that the Günther Tulip filter perforated his vena cava and cannot be removed.
- Brand v. Cook Medical, Inc., 1:14-cv-6018-RLY-TAB. Ms. Brand was implanted with a Celect filter before her scheduled back surgery, as she had experienced a deep vein thrombosis in 2007. She was 51 years old at the time of the implant. More than two years after surgery, she learned that the Celect filter had two fragmented legs. An attempt to remove the filter percutaneously was abandoned after several unsuccessful attempts to snare the hook of the filter from her caval wall. Four years later, she underwent an open surgery, wherein the filter was removed but the fractured pieces from the filter could not be recovered and remain in her body.
More than 900 cases against Cook Medical are consolidated in a multi-district litigation docket (MDL) in the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis. The small, umbrella-like devices are implanted for prevention of pulmonary embolism and they perforate the vena cava, migrated out of position or fracture, sending fragments or metal shards into the heart or lungs.
“Gage is more representative than Brand of the types of injuries and retrieval challenges at issue in this MDL,” Judge Young wrote. Furthermore, according to Cook, approximately 45% of the plaintiffs in the MDL had a Günther Tulip filter implanted. Gage is the only Günther Tulip case selected as a bellwether. “For these reasons, the court finds trying Gage second furthers the goals of the bellwether selection process. Accordingly, Gage will be the second bellwether trial.”