The controversy surrounding IVC filters in the U.S. has been mounting for some time, and now our neighbors to the north have joined in the fight to hold IVC filter manufacturers responsible. Thousands of existing American lawsuits against manufacturers like Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, and Cordis Corporation are now joined by a class action lawsuit filed in Canada.
The first Canadian patient to file a lawsuit was Arie Kuiper, who had a Cook IVC filter implanted. Unfortunately for Kuiper, doctors have tried twice to remove his IVC filter without success. He is scheduled for a third removal procedure, but is preparing himself for living the rest of his life with the defective filter inside his body. Kuiper now suffers from dizzy spells, which doctors believe are caused by his IVC filter being clogged, which is inhibiting blood flow.
Another Canadian plaintiff, Wendy Kopeck from Alberta, lives in constant fear her defective IVC filter will cause further complications. Kopeck also had a Cook IVC filter implanted, and one of the legs or struts of the device pierced her internal jugular vein. The rest of the device migrated to her intestines, a location wherein doctors determined is too risky to remove.
If it’s any consolation, Kuiper and Kopeck aren’t alone. Half a dozen other plaintiffs joined their class action lawsuit and thousands more are pending in the U.S. The first IVC filter lawsuits to go to trial will occur in the U.S. beginning in early 2017. The outcome of the first trials might convince Cook to throw in the towel and settle the remaining lawsuits in the U.S. and abroad.
Other manufacturers trying to gauge how a jury will respond will closely watch the trials against Cook. Other manufacturers might also decide to settle their lawsuits before going to trial if Cook doesn’t pull out a win.