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A federal jury in Arizona has ordered C.R. Bard to pay nearly $4 million in the first IVC filter lawsuit to go to trial, which was designed to serve as a “bellwether” and help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated in thousands of other cases.
There are currently more than 3,500 Bard IVC Filter cases pending in the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that the small blood clot filters fractured or migrated out of position, causing a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
A lawsuit filed by Sherr-Una Booker was selected as the first in a series of early test trial dates, alleging that a Bard G2 Vena Cava filter fractured inside her body.
Following a multi-week trial, the jury awarded $2 million in compensatory damages, with 80% of the award assessed against C.R. Bard. The company was then ordered to pay an additional $2 million in punitive damages, resulting in a combined verdict of $3.6 million.
Another Bard IVC filter bellwether trial is set to begin on May 15, involving similar claims raised in a lawsuit filed by Doris and Alfred Jones.
Given similar questions of fact and law presented in claims filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, the litigation is centralized before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell in the District of Arizona, for coordinated discovery and a series of early trial dates.
Ahead of the Jones trial, a court order (PDF) issued March 30, indicating that the court will hold a hearing on April 13 to discuss issues brought up during the Booker trial, which may affect the Jones case. Each party has been ordered to file a five page memorandum by April 10 outlining which issues should be considered.
While the outcome of this trial and other bellwether cases will not be binding of remaining claims in the litigation, they will be 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 associated with that competing product.