Last month, Cook Medical and plaintiffs’ lawyers representing patients harmed by Cook’s Inferior Vena Cava Filters agreed to a bellwether process to select several representative cases to go to trial this September. However, lawyers for Cook are looking to push back the September trial dates with a request for an additional 60 days to prepare, claiming they need more time to investigate lawsuits pending in the multi-district litigation.
This isn’t the first time Cook’s lawyers have asked to postpone proceedings. The first came when the original settlement conference scheduled for February was pushed back to March. The proceedings were pushed back a second time to May, and while the proceedings have moved forward, Cook’s lawyers are asking for another postponement.
Cook IVC Filter Lawsuits
Cook is currently facing over 200 lawsuits in the Southern District of Indiana. Inferior Vena Cava Filters, or IVC filters, are small cone-shaped devices designed to catch blood clots and prevent them from traveling into the heart or lungs. They are used in patients who are unable to use other methods of blood clot prevention like blood thinners. Patients who experience extreme trauma or undergo surgery are the most common candidates for IVC filters.
Cook Medical has been producing IVC filters since 1992, but between 2005 and 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received nearly 1,000 reports of adverse events relating to IVC filters including 328 reports of device migration, 146 reports of detachment of device components, 70 reports of device perforation of the inferior vena cava wall, and 56 reports of device fracture.
Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit are alleging Cook failed to adequately warn them about the risks of device failure, which has proven deadly for some patients. It has not been announced whether or not Cook’s postponement will be granted, but for plaintiffs eagerly waiting for their day in court, they can only be patient and hope it will arrive sooner rather than later.