Dozens of IVC filter lawsuits involving C.R. Bard Inc.’s retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters continue to move forward in the multidistrict litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. According to a Case Management Order dated December 17th, the Court has approved the use of Master Long Form and Short Form complaints. Beginning on December 28th, any plaintiff whose case would be subject to transfer to the multidistrict litigation may file directly in the Court via the Short Form Complaint. (In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2641)
“Our firm is investigating a number of cases involving injuries allegedly caused by the tilting, fracture or migration of Bard IVC filters. The adoption of the Master and Short Form Complaints will do much to streamline the process for filing a claim in the federal litigation,” says Sandy A. Liebhard LLP, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is currently evaluating IVC filter lawsuits on behalf of individuals who may have been seriously injured by these products.
IVC filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava in patients at risk for a dangerous type of blood clot called a pulmonary embolism. Once implanted, the wire, cage-like device captures blood clots before they can travel to the lungs. Retrievable products, such as C.R. Bard’s Recovery and G2 IVC filters, are intended to be removed once the threat of pulmonary embolism has passed.
Court records indicate that at least 72 Bard IVC filter lawsuits have been filed in the litigation now underway in Arizona. Plaintiffs claim that a number of the company’s retrievable filters, including the Recovery and G2 devices, are associated with high rates of fracture, migration and tilting, which may result in perforation of the inferior vena cava, embolization and other life-threatening complications. They further allege that C.R. Bard has failed to provide doctors with adequate warnings regarding the importance of filter removal, as failure to retrieve an IVC filter in a timely manner greatly increases the risk of injury and complications.
Since 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two safety alerts regarding the use of retrievable IVC filters. In March 2010, the agency disclosed that it had received more than 900 adverse event reports involving the devices, including incidents of migration, fracture and embolization, and perforation of the inferior vena cava. In May of last year, the FDA issued a second notice to remind doctors that retrievable IVC filters should be removed within 29 to 54 days of their implantation.