Bard IVC Filters Class Action Lawsuits Allege Manufacturer Hid Risks

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson

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C.R. Bard faces two class action lawsuits over its IVC filters, which allege that the small, spider-like devices implanted into the inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart or lungs, are prone to fracture and perforate organs or the heart. 

Both of the Bard IVC filter class action lawsuits were filed on August 9; one in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County (PDF), and the other in Los Angeles County Superior Court (PDF).

Inferior vena cava filters are an alternative treatment for patients at risk for a pulmonary embolism. They are often used when an anticoagulant is contraindicated or if such medications have not been effective. They contain a number of legs or struts that extend out like a spider to catch blood clots that may break free elsewhere in the body, such as the deep veins of the legs.

If there is an IVC filter strut fracture, small pieces of the filter may travel to other parts of the body, such as the heart or lungs.

Allegations raised in each of the complaints indicate that C.R. Bard knew for years that their IVC filters were prone to fracture, which can cause severe complications, including death, but failed to warn doctors and patients.

Lawsuits Seek Coverage of Medical Monitoring for Bard IVC Filters

The class action lawsuits seek to represent individuals who have been implanted with a Bard Recovery IVC Filter, or Bard G2 or G2 Express IVC filter, but who have not been injured.

The complaints seek to force Bard to pay for the medical monitoring that patients will need to ensure that the filters have not fractured in their body as long as they remain in place. An estimated 100,000 of the devices have been implanted in patients in the United States, the lawsuits claim.

As evidence that C.R. Bard has known there is a problems with their IVC filters, the lawsuits point to the company’s latest device, the Eclipse IVC Filter, which is identical to the G2, except that it has undergone electro-polishing to make it stronger and less likely to fracture, according to the complaint.

A number of similar IVC filter lawsuits have been filed on behalf of individuals who received the Bard Recovery or Bard G2 filters and suffered an actual injury after the struts fractured or broke.

Bard recently obtained a defense verdict in the first IVC filter lawsuit to go to trial, after an Arizona state court jury found in June that the devices were not defectively designed. Bard has touted the victory as evidence that the benefits of the filter outweigh the risks, and claim that the failure rate is only about 1.2%. However, outside experts have placed the failure rate closer to 12%.

Flood of Reports Lead to FDA Warnings About IVC Filters

In August 2010, the FDA issued an alert warning about the risk of IVC filter problems, indicating the agency had received more than 900 adverse event reports associated with the products.

The FDA indicated that doctors should 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.

Of the 921 adverse event reports described in the 2010 FDA warning, the agency indicated that 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.

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  1. ruth Reply

    Cant find that Arizona lawsuit where Bard got a defense result. I can’t believe it really happened like that. Does anyone have more information on which area of Arizona this lawsuit took place in and/or case number? I want to read up on it.

  2. Shelly Reply

    I am one of the unlucky people with one of those death traps and it in fact punctured my vena cava. I almost died as a result of their product. It is more risk than good….I would highly advise against this product based on my own medical injuries. I am living with the aftermath of this device. Horrible!

  3. Rose Reply

    Sadly I woke up to a preacher reading me my last rites and they gave me like two seconds to say yes to surgery to have this dam thing put in my body as have small children and my life has been a nightmare since with pain that feels like hundreds of knives slicing me apart. my body right after surgery blew up like balloon and can’t get rid of the issue as tried water pills and so on as its my belly area. I get sharp pains that race through my heart and lungs where I end up clutching my chest trying to catch my breath. horrible pain in thigh area where they put it through where it burns, stabbing pain where can’t move leg sometimes and unexplained bruising. This is a night mare . I would never ever wish anyone else to ever have to go through this . All I wonder is are they going to explain to the children and families of those of us that die that you FUCKING knew and looked away. Shit if I had known I would have taken chances and not done it. The pain is hell when your kids beg you please play and such or your trying to get into a new relationship , but feel a bit guilty to as don’t want them to have to deal with it. Plus when I look at my beautiful babies and fear did I really do wrong and this really will be my doom. yes all of this crap goes through my head at night as does the pain so lack of sleep also .SO I SAY FOR MY CHILDREN ,MYSELF AND THOSE LIKE ME FOR NOT CARING FOR OUR LIVES ,BUT YOUR POCKETBOOKS

  4. PAUL Reply


  5. Sandy Reply

    In December 2013 I was rushed to the hospital because I was passing out and couldn’t stay awake When I got to the hospital, it was discovered that I had blood clots that were filling my lungs. Because of this my heart was enlarged on one side. I was rushed to the pulmonary lab and a doctor sedated me and put tubes in my groin to my lungs with heparin iv,and then inserted an IVC filter in my vena cava vein. I ended up in intensive care for 4 days and then to a regular room. I have had this filter for almost 2 years. All, I can say is, I have felt safe from the clots because of the filter, but on the other hand I will be stressed if I don’t have it, because most people die from what I had They called it Lupus anticoagulant
    with saddle clots..
    The only thing different is that I noticed that I am mostly have nausea. And that is new for me. Good luck to everyone in their choice.

  6. Sandi Reply

    I had an IVC filter inserted prior to having abdominal surgery in 2007. I previously had a large pulmonary embolism in 2006 & was also put on Coumadin because I have anti phospholipid syndrome due to Lupus. I still have the IVC filter & still take Coumadin. What symptoms do I need to look for if there is a problem with the filter & should I have it removed? I too have recently started with abdominal size increase, numbness & tingling in my legs. Can someone answer my questions?

  7. gail Reply

    I had a Bard port implanted for chemo treatment in 2008. When surgeon removed it a couple years later it was missing one of the “lines” coming out of it – something about the size of a piece of yarn. Xrays found it had broken off, migrated, and was stuck in my heart. Emergency surgery removed it going up thru artery in my thigh. I consider myself blessed to be here. Bard, of course, denies any culpability.

  8. Vicki Reply

    How ironic that something that was supposed to save my life is probably going to kill me. I was told that because I developed a blood clot in my leg after back surgery , along with a strong family history, that it was perfectly safe to leave it in (even though it was supposed to be removed after approx. 2 months). That was 9 YEARS ago! I found out in 2012 that a piece had broke off and was sitting above the rest of it. Last December, I fell in the tub and ended with a couple broken ribs. They did a CT scan and found that a piece was in my lung. This means that it went through my heart and is in the pulmonary artery, which could break free and go back to my heart. I dont know if it’s the same piece or another broken piece. (Yes, I have an attorney and gave my deposition in August… for 7 hours). They knew the first was causing (issues), so they came out with the G2, which was even worse! I was told that they did it without FDA research or approval. They new they were junk in 2004 and mine was put in 2006. A vascular surgeon from a prestigious hospital wouldn’t even attempt removing it when it was at the level of my kidney, because it was too dangerous. now that its in my lung, I’m sure they wont touch it now. Anyone with this filter should find out where it’s at and get an attorney.

  9. dont want to say Reply

    well my dad recently passed away he had that stupied thing put in and a month later died he was spiting up blood and couldn’t breath my dad had no problems till this and if I can prove it was them I intend to make that company pay because I feel like I was robbed and my heart is still in shambles but good forbid that if I find out he was taken from me too early they will regret it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  10. Jean Reply

    I too had a similar experience with a bard port. I coyuld have died from that 4 3/4 inch piece that lodged into. The right ventricle if my heart

  11. Laura Reply

    I had an IVC filter put in after a car accident in 2003. The thing broke and floated. How much money am I looking at?

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