In June 2015, Cook Medical only faced around 100 IVC filter lawsuits; but over the course of the next year, the number of lawsuits skyrocketed. As the year comes to a close, the company now faces more than 1,000 defective IVC filter lawsuits. The new year will see at least one of these lawsuits go to trial in the fall, and Cook Medical is likely trying to prepare for this pivotal trial.
Plaintiffs in the Cook Medical IVC filter litigation have been waiting for a resolution to their cases for some time. Throughout the year, Cook Medical teased settlement talks at several settlement conferences, but neither side could come to an agreement. Unfortunately, these settlement conferences postponed several trials originally scheduled to take place this year.
Three bellwether cases have been selected to go to trial. Two of the cases involve the Celect IVC filter and one involves the Günther Tulip IVC filter.
IVC filters can cause a variety of complications, including the perforation of the inferior vena cava wall, migration of the device, the fracture and migration of smaller pieces of the device, and the embolization of the device or its pieces into vital organs like the heart and lungs.
Studies show the Celect IVC filter has a perforation rate of 43% within two months of implantation. For filters remaining in the body longer than two months, the rate of device failure increases and can cause life-threatening complications.
Several studies of the Günther Tulip IVC filter also show high rates of perforation. In one study, all patients with Günther Tulip IVC filters suffered some degree of device perforation within 71 days of device implantation.
Other IVC filter manufacturers like C.R. Bard, Cordis Corporation, Boston Scientific, and Rex Medical also face IVC filter lawsuits of their own. Bard’s first IVC filter trial is scheduled for the fall of 2017.