The FDA reports that the number of American patients seriously harmed because of a medical device has almost quadrupled from 2001 to 2009. The long-term ramifications of defective medical devices – products that were originally designed to improve our health and lives – can leave victims with permanent physical disability and on the brink of financial ruin. IVC filters–small, metal devices intended to prevent pulmonary emboli–have been the topic of national litigation, based on claims that the products tend to migrate, perforate, tilt and fracture after being implanted.
If you have lost a loved one or been injured after receiving an IVC filter, and want to speak with a knowledgeable product liability lawyer regarding your legal options, Eisbrouch Marsh offers confidential case reviews to discuss liability issues and your rights to compensation. With more than 25 years of experience fighting Big Pharma, our attorneys are committed to protecting consumer rights in the face of what some legal advocates are calling a “massive public health risk.” Call 201-342-5545 for a free consultation.
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters
Blood clots that develop in the deep veins of the body, though not life-threatening themselves, can pose dangers if the clot breaks free and reaches the lungs. Patients who are diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are typically given blood thinning medications to help prevent more clots from forming. For those who cannot tolerate anticoagulant therapy, or who are at great risk for suffering a pulmonary embolism (PE), an IVC filter is an effective solution. This device is implanted in the inferior vena cava where it traps clots that might otherwise reach the lungs and heart.
IVC filters may be prescribed for patients who are:
- Unable to tolerate blood thinning drugs
- Recovering from surgery
- Suffering from recurrent blood clots (DVT), despite drug therapy
- Trauma victims
- PE sufferers who need emergency treatment
The devices have been available for more than 35 years, and manufacturers such as Cook, C.R. Bard and Cordis have created optionally retrievable IVC filters, which can be removed after the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided. However, surgical removal of the filters has also proven challenging in some cases. Research published in the March 2013 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that less than 10 percent of inferior vena cava filters were successfully retrieved, and eight percent of patients experienced a PE, even with the filter in place.
Low Retrieval Rates & IVC Filter Complications
Another problem highlighted in recent litigation and FDA safety alerts is that retrievable IVC filters are not always removed in a timely fashion once risk has passed. According to an article published in Endovascular Today, there is an alarming trend of low filter retrieval rates. “Younger patients who accumulate enough time with a filter in place will be more prone to filter fracture, embolization, perforation, and caval thrombosis,” state the authors, all prominent vascular surgeons.
Plaintiffs who are seeking damages in an IVC filter lawsuit allege a number of serious flaws with the devices, making them prone to:
- Filter tilt and ingrowth
- Premature failure
- Embolization (detached components)
- Perforation of adjacent vessels, organs and tissues
If you suffered an IVC filter-related injury and are considering legal action, it’s imperative to choose an attorney with extensive experience in medical device litigation. Eisbrouch Marsh is uniquely qualified in this scope and will fight diligently to hold liable parties responsible. A successful personal injury lawsuit can net damages for all medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, diminished earning capacity, plus other financial losses incurred.
Over the last ten years, the FDA has logged more than 920 adverse event reports regarding problems with IVC filters, ranging from embolizations, perforation, migration and fracture. In a safety communication released in 2014, the agency urged health care providers to remove the devices once pulmonary embolism risk has passed, which is estimated at between 29 and 54 days after implantation.
IVC Filter Litigation Status
Manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical are defending claims of strict liability, negligence, failure to warn and fraud in IVC filter lawsuits brought across the nation. Given the escalating number of complaints involving Cook’s Celect and Gunther Tulip filters, litigation was consolidated as part of multi-district litigation (MDL) 2570.
The Cook Medical IVC Filter multidistrict litigation was established in the Southern District of Indiana, where more than 100 cases are now pending.
Bard’s Recovery IVC Filter and G2 IVC Filter are topic of additional lawsuits alleging design flaws which have purportedly caused life-altering injuries. In one case, a plaintiff claims that the G2 device punctured her vena cava and then moved to the aorta, causing serious damage.
While Bard continues to stand behind the safety of its products, the company has settled two lawsuits alleging IVC filter injuries for confidential sums. Both settlements were reached in 2015, after evidence was produced by plaintiff’s counsel that showed the company’s own analysis suggested the Recovery filter had a disproportionately high fracture rate. Thus far, lawsuits filed against Bard have not been centralized for pretrial proceedings.
Find an IVC Filter Attorney
Knowledgeable and effective advocacy is the cornerstone of our practice at Eisbrouch Marsh. To enlist the services of a compassionate IVC filter lawyer who delivers results, contact our offices to arrange a free case evaluation. We promise to fight for maximum compensation and help protect others from suffering similar injury.
To find out whether you or a family member has a viable claim for damages after suffering IVC filter complications, please call 201-342-5545.
- Cleveland Clinic, Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Retrieval https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/ivc-filter-retrieval
- New England Journal of Medicine , A clinical trial of vena caval filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism in patients with proximal deep-vein thrombosis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9459643
- US District Court of Indiana, Case Management Plan http://www.insd.uscourts.gov/sites/insd/files/MDL%202570%20CMP.pdf
- Indianapolis Business Journal, Cook deluged by product lawsuits https://www.ibj.com/articles/53869-cook-deluged-by-product-lawsuits