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Following ten days of trial, C.R. Bard has reached an agreement to settle a product liability lawsuit that alleged the plaintiff suffered severe injuries due to problems with a Bard Recovery Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter.
The trial was being held in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, involving a lawsuit filed by Kevin Phillips in June 2012, which claimed that the small IVC filter broke inside his body and perforated his heart.
According to a docket entry on February 9, the parties advised the Court that a settlement had bee reached for the Bard IVC filter lawsuit, but details of the agreement were not released.
IVC filters are small devices that are implanted into the inferior vena cava to “catch” blood clots that may break free inside the deep veins of the body and travel toward the lungs. The spider-like filters contain several legs, or struts, that expand inside the vein to prevent a pulmonary embolism.
Phillips received his Bard Recovery IVC in 2005, and suffered his injuries in April 2010. At trial Phillips alleged that the Bard Recovery filter was defective and failed to remain stable when challenged by one of the blood clots it was supposed to stop. The device allegedly broke, and one of the legs traveled to his heart.
Phillips had to undergo open heart surgery and an extended recovery period.
The complaint raises allegations similar to those presented in a number of IVC filter lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard in recent years. Problems with the Recovery filter, and a second-generation version known as the Bard G2 IVC filter, have been linked to dozens of reports where the filters failed and the legs either broke off or allowed the filter to move other parts of the body, piercing the inferior vena cava or other vital organs.
Most of the lawsuits have been brought following an FDA alert issued in August 2010, which warned about the risk of problems with removable IVC filters, indicating that the agency had received more than 900 adverse event reports. Of those reports, 328 involved the IVC filter breaking free and migrating through the body, 146 involved components breaking loose, 70 involved the inferior vena cava being perforated and 56 involved the filter fracturing.
The FDA recommended that doctors remove the filters once the danger of the clot has passed, to reduce the risk of the filters breaking free and traveling through the body.
In recent months, a growing number of similar lawsuits over Cook IVC filters have ben filed, stemming from problems with the Celect or Gunther Tulip filters.
According to the lawsuits, an April 2012 study published in the medical journal Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology found that 100% of Cook Celect and Gunther Tulip IVC filters perforated patients’ venal caval wall within 71 days of being implanted. The study also found that 40% of the filters became tilted and out of position.