Before we delve deeper into IVC filter lawsuits and understand them, it is essential to know what they are. So, let’s explore more about them in this article.
What Is an IVC Filter?
An IVC or an inferior vena cava filter is a small metal device figured like inverted V-shaped cages. This device is used or implanted in the inferior vena cava, a large vein responsible for carrying blood from other parts of the body to the heart.
Why Is an IVC Filter Used?
IVC filters are used to capture large blood clots that develop in the IVC. It further prevents them from traveling to the lungs and heart. Thus, an IVC filter prevents a medical condition known as pulmonary embolism.
Blood clots in the deep veins can travel from the inferior vena cava to the lungs and heart. If they travel to the lungs and heart, they get stuck there and even block the pathway for the blood to flow.
To stop such situations, IVC filters are installed or implanted in the largest vein, i.e., inferior vena cava, through minimally invasive techniques.
What Are IVC Filter Lawsuits?
IVC filter lawsuits are thus lawsuits against IVC filter manufacturing companies like Bard, Cook Medical, and Greenfield.
According to the plaintiff’s allegations, the IVC filters produced by these companies were defective. As a result, using them for a long time led to complications like tilting, failing to open, perforation, deep vein thrombosis, device migrations, and other related issues.
How Did IVC Filter Lawsuits Start?
It all started way back in the year 2007 when people started complaining about the device’s efficacy.
There were multiple complaints about the device’s complications. One such case happened in the year 2007. Sherr-Un Booker had one of such Bard filters implanted in the year 2007. She sued the company when the device was not only titled but migrated and fractured inside her. She went through many surgeries to remove the device. However, one of the pieces of the device remained embedded. Later in the year 2016, she won a $3.6 million settlement against Bard. She was compensated with $1.6 million as actual damages and $2 as punitive damages (i.e., for medical bills etc.)
In the year August 2010, US FDA had to issue a safety communication warning the doctors about the complications of IVC filters and removing them as soon as they are no longer needed.
Complications Of IVC Filters
There are several complicated and side effects listed and reported to the FDA. The majority of the cases involved complaints of:
- Device migrations
- Detachment of device parts and moving to different locations in the body
- IVC perforation, i.e., device piercing through the veins
In several cases of perforation, the device perforated not only the inferior vena cava veins but also internal organs found near it like the aorta vein, lungs, Kidney, spinal column, liver, diaphragm, etc.
According to a 2013 study, 46% of 591 filters installed between 2006 to 2009 were found to be perforating.
- The fracturing of the filer device
In a case reported against Bard IVC filter, a man suffered from a heart puncture when the pieces of the device traveled to her heart. As a result, the man has to undergo open-heart surgery to get them removed.
It was also found that instead of catching the blood clots in the inferior vena cava vein, ICV filters contributed to blocking the vein resulting in filter thrombosis completely.
Current Status of IVC Filter Lawsuits
Before the pandemic took the world by storm, i.e., by the year 2019, more than 14,000 lawsuits were filed against the IVC filter manufactures.
Bard faced the majority of around 8400 lawsuits in Arizona federal court, whereas Cook Medical faced 5600 lawsuits.
There are currently no IVC filter lawsuits filed in the U.S.
How to File an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
IVC filter lawsuits can be filed individually with the help of an appropriate personal injury lawyer or a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice and defective product lawsuits.
The individual lawsuits of a particular region are brought together and made to join multidistrict litigation (MDL).
In certain regions like Canada, various class action lawsuits have been filed was various law firms.
IVF Filter Recalls
The FDA made IVF filter recalls instructing manufacturers to withdraw the filters from the market until new and approved filters are manufactured.
More than 80,000 devices have been recalled between the year 2005 to 2015. No major recalls have been made since then.
Even manufacturers like Cook Medical and Bard, who face the worst lawsuits lines, haven’t recalled their filters in question.
FDA approves or denies the entry of IVC filters in the market through its 510k clearance process. Therefore, IVC filter recalls not only depend on manufacturers but also on FDA. If you need more assistance on IVC filter lawsuits, contact us today.