C.R. Bard faces more than 1,000 IVC filter lawsuits centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Judge David G. Campbell, who is presiding over the litigation, stated the first bellwether case in the litigation will likely go trial in the Fall of 2017. Judge Campbell also ordered the selection of bellwether cases be completed by early May 2017.

Some of Bard’s most popular filters like the G2, Recovery, Denali, Eclipse, and Meridian are being scrutinized for their high rates of failure inside the body. The devices are prone to fracture, migration, and perforation of the inferior vena cava wall. When the device fractures or migrates, pieces of the device can embed themselves into vital internal organs like the heart or lungs. When this occurs, removal is considered too dangerous, and patients must live with the defective devices inside their body. IVC filters that have perforated the vena cava wall have also proven to be challenging to remove, spurring a need for specialization in IVC filter removal.

Bard IVC filter lawsuits allege the company sold a dangerous and defective device without adequately warning patients and doctors of the risks. To add salt to the wound, a recent study found IVC filters placed in trauma patients provided no benefit. Researchers involved with the study advised doctors to rethink utilizing IVC filters in trauma patients because the risks associated with the devices are very high.

If Bard has any consolation, it’s that they’re not facing these lawsuits alone. Other IVC filter manufacturers like Cook Medical, Cordis Corporation, Rex Medical, B. Braun, and Boston Scientific face similar allegations in their own lawsuits.

The first IVC filter manufacturer to go to trial will be Cook Medical. Bellwether trials are scheduled for early 2017 and the outcome could make other manufacturers think twice before taking their cases to trial.