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Lawsuit Over Fractured IVC Filter Cleared to Proceed to Trial

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The U.S. District Judge overseeing all federal Bard IVC filter lawsuits has cleared the way for the next bellwether case to go before a jury in September, indicating that claims for negligent design, negligence per se, strict liability design defect, loss of consortium and punitive damages in a claim filed by Lisa and Mark Hyde can proceed to trial.

The case is one of more than 3,500 lawsuits pending in the federal court system over problems with Bard IVC filters, which are small devices implanted in the vena cava to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism.

Each of the complaints raise similar allegations that certain retrievable blood clot filters sold in recent years were defectively designed and prone to fail. The devices have been linked to devastating injuries after they moved out of position, punctured internal organs or fracture, causing small pieces to travel throughout the body.

As part of the coordinated federal litigation, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell in the District of Arizona, a series of early “bellwether” trials are currently underway, involving individual trial dates designed to gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

In March 2018, the first bellwether trial resulted in a $3.6 million verdict, which was recently upheld during post-trial motions. However, Bard prevailed in a second trial last month, which ended in a defense verdict.

A claim filed by Lisa and Mark Hyde is set for the next trial date in September 2018, involving injuries suffered by Lisa Hyde from a fractured IVC filter. After a Bard G2X IVC filter was implanted in Lisa Hyde in February 2011, the lawsuit indicates that a CT scan revealed that the filter had tilted out of place, fractured, and perforated her vena cava wall. In addition, one of the struts was lodged in the right ventricle of her heart.

Following the complications, the filter and its broken struts were successfully removed in August 2014, and the Hydes filed a lawsuit raising a number of different claim.

In an order (PDF) issued on July 26, Judge Campbell granted the manufacturer’s request for summary judgement with respect to Plaintiffs’ claims for failure to warn, failure to recall, misrepresentation, concealment, and fraud, as well as breach of implied warranty. However, the motion to dismiss other claims, including a request for punitive damages, were rejecting, clearing the way for the case to proceed to trial on September 18.

Additional trial dates slated to begin on November 5, 2018 and February 11, 2019, and the Court has indicated that another trial may be held in May 2019.

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.

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.

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