Litigation involving Cook and Cordis IVC Filters is now the hot, trending practice area for mass tort lawyers, with hundreds of cases already filed, and hundreds of thousands of potential clients nationwide who need attorneys.
“These devices cause the one thing they are design to prevent — blood clots,” says said Troy Brenes of Aliso Viejo, California, a lawyer who is active in IVC Filter litigation. “They cause the development and increase risk of thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.”
The cause of the litigation is the rapacious greed of the two 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Brenes and John Dalimonte of Boston spoke on a recent webinar about the litigation sponsored by the Consumer Attorney Marketing Group.
The number of potential plaintiffs is immense: Since 2000, Cook has sold 264,006 Tulip Filters and 129,089 Celect Filters. Attorneys Brenes and Dalimonte estimate that 200,000 Cordis filters have been inserted into patients.
Settlement values of the cases are unknown, and a settlement conference on June 7 with Cook “went nowhere.” The first bellwether trials are scheduled for next year.
IVC filters are small, cage-like devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava – a major vein leading directly to the heart. They were supposed to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs.
However, Dalimonte identified three issues with the Cook Tulip and Celect IVC Filters:
- Migration downward and upward. The IVC Filters can tilt or shift, making them almost impossible to remove.
- Device fracture, causing blood clots (embolism) in the heart, lung, liver and kidneys. Research shows that the devices experienced fracture rates of 37% to 40% after five and a half years.
- Perforation, where stress on the IVC Filter struts leads to fractures that puncture adjacent organs and vessels.
“There are a lot of cases out there,” Dalimonte says, because the manufacturers conducted off-label marketing directly to bariatric patients, trauma patients and orthopedic surgery patients.
Brenes and Dalimonte will be speaking at the upcoming AAJ annual convention, July 22-25 in Los Angeles.