Pressuring the parties to settle, the court overseeing Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Product Liability
Litigation, MDL 2570, ordered both sides to appear at three hearings with a proposed settlement framework.
A total of 1,597 cases are docketed before Chief US District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis. The MDL was created on October 15, 2014, and recent settlement talks failed in August 2016.
With the first of three bellwether trials scheduled for October 2, 2017, US Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker ordered the parties to set forth confidential settlement statements, including:
- A general statement regarding the status of the case, including the status of discovery and trial preparation.
- A candid assessment of the strength and weaknesses of the litigation, with specific references to any evidence that supports this assessment.
- A proposed settlement framework.
Plaintiffs and counsel only will appear in person at a July 26 conference, where neither defendants or defense counsel can be present. Three days in advance the plaintiffs must submit their settlement statement.
Defendants and their counsel will have a similar conference on August 4, excluding plaintiffs and their counsel. Three days in advance the defendants must submit their settlement statement. Attendees must have actual authority to negotiate a resolution, without needing to contact others who are not present.
The may be a follow-up settlement conference on August 9 with the plaintiffs to discuss the previous conference with the defendants.
Baker admonished the parties to “work with the Magistrate Judge in good faith to determine whether a settlement can be achieved. Unrealistic assessments, including posturing, will be of no value and should be avoided.”
The small, umbrella-like devices are implanted for prevention of pulmonary embolism and they perforate the vena cava, migrate out of position or fracture, sending fragments or metal shards into the heart or lungs.
The cause of the litigation is the rapacious greed of the medical device companies competing to get market share, rolling out one defective product after another for the last 16 years, brushing aside reports of patient deaths and lying to the FDA about it.
- Cook Medical IVC Filter Litigation is consolidated in MDL 2570 in US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The defendants are Cook Medical, LLC and Cook Inc., both of Bloomington, IN, and William Cook Europe APS, Bjaeverskov, Denmark. The federal district court has created a short form complaint.
- Cordis IVC Filter Litigation is centered in the California state courts, where hundreds of cases are up for consolidation. Cordis Corporation is organized under the laws of Florida, with its principal place of business in Fremont, California.
- Bard IVC Filter Litigation is consolidated in MDL 2641 (multi-district litigation docket) in US District Court in Arizona. A total of 1,584 cases are docketed there.
- There is no MDL for Boston Scientific Corp IVC Filter Litigation. “We believe it is possible that more cases will be filed and a motion for consolidation and transfer may be formed in an effort to form an MDL,” says Mass Tort Consultant John Ray.