Recent medical studies have linked inferior vena cava filters (IVC filters) to serious risks when the filter remains implanted in a person’s body for longer periods that what is recommended. Complications from prolong use of IVC filters have led to several lawsuits recently across the United States.
Surgeons implant retrievable inferior IVC filters in the veins of patients who are unable to take anticoagulants (blood thinners) in order to prevent blood clots from moving to the lungs. IVCs catch the clots in the blood stream and, over time, the clots dissipate. But the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of adverse reports about the retrievable filters. Reported complications included punctured organs, blood vessels and filter migration to different parts of the body.
In 2010, the FDA warned the retrievable filters posed risks of filter fracture, device migration and organ perforation and should be removed as soon as the patient’s risk for blood clots subsided. The FDA updated safety communication in 2014, stating most devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation. But the warning signs came too late for some. Plaintiffs began filing lawsuits across the country claiming the filters caused harm and death.
At the center of these lawsuits are IVC filter manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. The IVC filters raising concerns in these lawsuits include:
- The Cook Celect Filter
- The Cook Gunther Tulip Filter
- The Bard G2 Express Filter
- The Bard G2 Filter
- The Bard Recovery Filter
The lawsuits allege that the manufacturers were negligent, failed to warn consumers, contained design and manufacturing defects, and that they manufacturers breached implied warranty.
One of the first lawsuits was filed Lisa Davis. She was implanted with a C.R. Bard G2 filter in 2006. The filter fractured in 2008 and migrated to her heart causing ongoing hear issues. Davis declined to have open heart surgery to remove the fragment and must take blood thinners for the rest of her life. She claims Bard failed to warn her physician of the G2’s risks and misrepresented the device as safe. She sued for physical trauma, anxiety and impaired ability to earn wages.
If you or a loved one developed complications after using an IVC filter, contact our office immediately. Our office handles IVC filters lawsuits from across the country.