Judge Selects IVC Filter Bellwether Cases for 2017 Trial
This is Michael Brady Lynch, lead trial attorney for The Michael Brady Lynch Firm.
There is forward momentum in IVC filter cases. The U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young is overseeing the pretrial process for the Cook IVC filter lawsuits. Judge Young announced the three claims selected for bellwether trials set to begin in 2017. Verdicts in bellwether trials are not binding for other claims in an MDL, but they sometimes lead to settlements.
About 650 lawsuits have been filed in the District of Indiana under Judge Richard L. Young. Plaintiffs are arguing that Cook IVC Filters are defective and dangerous. IVC filters are small, spider-like devices used to intercept blood clots before they reach the lungs. When a blood clot reaches the lung, it is referred to as a pulmonary embolism (PE). PEs cause about 300,000 deaths ever year – the third most common cause of death in hospital patients. However, these filters are supposed to save lives but are causing serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects. Plus, medical professionals never warned patients that these side effects could happen.
Specific dangers have included vein and organ perforation from the filter migrating away from the intended location, deep venous thrombosis (DVT) from a blood clot forming in the vein, pulmonary embolism (PE) from a blood clot in a deep vein that travels to the lungs and failed removal of the filter.
Failed filter removal is one of the complaints of a chosen bellwether case for the Spring 2017 trial. The case is about plaintiff Elizabeth H., a woman from Florida who was implanted with a Cook Celect IVC filter in November 2010. The Cook Celect model is a retrievable IVC filter that the FDA recommends removing within 29 to 54 days after implantation. If the filter remains longer than recommended, the patient is at increased risk for the filter to fracture, migrate, perforate, inflict organ damage or even lead to death.
Elizabeth’s doctors attempted to remove the filter in March of 2011, but the attempt failed. During the three years that followed, Elizabeth developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, inflammation, fatigue, and vomiting. It was during a colonoscopy that doctors discovered that the filter had migrated and embedded in her intestines.
At another hospital, Elizabeth underwent emergency surgery to remove the filter and was left with permanent narrowing at the site of excision. A comparison retrievability study by Dr. Robert Ryu found that after a 33-month period, 43% of Celect filters can perforate organs after two months of implantation.
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If you or someone you know has suffered from IVC filter migration, you may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial and emotional burdens you are experiencing. Contact us today at 877-513-9517 to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.