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IVC Multidistrict Litigation Moves Forward

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Phoenix, AZThe Bard IVC multidistrict litigation, alleging patients were harmed by the use of inferior vena cava filters, continues to move forward, with the judge in the case issuing a case management order regarding the selection of bellwether cases. More than 520 lawsuits were consolidated in the MDL as of May 16, 2016, with plaintiffs alleging their health was put in jeopardy by defective IVC filters.

US District Judge David Campbell issued case management order no. 11 (MDL 2641, In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation) in May 2016. In it, he sets deadlines for the two sides to select bellwether cases to go to trial. Bellwether trials are conducted to give both sides an idea of the arguments the other side will make during a trial and to provide insight into how juries are likely to decide each trial. Typically, those chosen as bellwether cases are representative of the class.

Judge David Campbell has given the two sides until March 1, 2017 to develop a list of six proposed bellwether cases to go to trial. Other case management orders include Joint Record Collection, discovery and electronically stored information.

Lawsuits filed against Bard and Cook (MDL 2570, In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation) allege the companies made IVC filters that were defective and put patients at risk for serious complications. The filters are implanted in a patient’s inferior vena cava to reduce the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. Some filters allegedly carry an increased risk of fracturing, migrating or perforating the patient’s veins. And, once the filters have fractured, they are reportedly more difficult to remove.

According to the FDA, removable filters should be removed within 29 and 54 days of implantation, if the risk of a blood clot has passed. But apparently many removable devices are left in much longer, putting patients at increased risk of life-threatening side effects.

According to reports, approximately 25 deaths and 300 injuries in 10 years have been linked to CR Bard’s Recovery Filter (NBC News; 9/3/15). Plaintiffs allege they were not warned about the risk of using the filters.

Meanwhile, reports indicate the Cook Medical MDL is ready to go forward, with early trial dates expected in September 2016.

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