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With more than 3,500 Bard IVC filter lawsuits pending in the federal court system, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation has confirmed the three cases that will serve as the next “bellwether” trials, which are set to begin in September 2018, November 2018 and February 2019.
Each of the complaints raise similar allegations to those presented throughout the litigation, indicating that retrievable blood clot filters sold by C.R. Bard in recent years were defectively designed and prone to fail. The devices have been linked to injuries after they moved out of position, punctured internal organs or fracture, causing small pieces to travel throughout the body.
Lawsuits filed by Carol Kruse, Lisa and Mark Hyde and Debra Mulkey will go before juries in September, November and February, respectively, according to a case management order (PDF) issued on June 28.
The first Bard IVC filter bellwether trial went before a jury in March 2018, resulting in a $3.6 million verdict, which was recently upheld by Judge Campbell during post-trial motions. However, Bard prevailed in a second trial last month, which ended in a defense verdict.
Mulkey’s claim was originally expected to go before a jury starting on September 18, 2018. However, the order indicates that she has been experiencing health issues that make her availability for that trial uncertain. Instead of moving the trial date, the Court has replaced her bellwether claim with the Kruse case and reset Mulkey’s case for trial in February 2019.
In addition to cases against Bard, another 3,750 Cook IVC filter lawsuits are centralized as part of a separate MDL, involving similar allegations of design defects. Last month, a Texas jury awarded $1.2 million in damages to a firefighter who suffered injuries from a Cook Celect filter.
While the outcome of these bellwether trials are not be binding of remaining claims in the litigation, they are being closely watched by parties involved, and may influence eventual negotiations to reach IVC filter settlements, which would avoid the need for thousands of separate trials to be held nationwide.