Short Form Complaints Approved for Filing of Bard IVC Filter Lawsuits

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Bard IVC filter lawsuits has approved a procedure to streamline the filing of new cases by individuals who have experienced migrations, perforations or other complications after receiving the device to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Since August, all cases filed against C.R. Bard in U.S. District Courts throughout the country involving problems with retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have been centralized before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell in the District of Arizona to coordinate discovery, avoid conflicting rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

There are currently at least six dozen Bard Recovery filter lawsuits, Bard G2 filter lawsuits and other claims involving similar filter designs brought throughout the federal court system.

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Each of the cases involve similar allegations that the small devices implanted to reduce the risk of blood clots traveling to the lungs are defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, often involving injuries that occurred when a Bard IVC filters migrated or punctured the vein, resulting in severe and often life-threatening health risks.

In a case management order (PDF) issued on December 17, Judge Campbell approved the use of a Master Complaint and Short Form Complaint to standardize the process of filing additional lawsuits against Bard directly into the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL).

A Master Complaint (PDF) has been adopted by the plaintiffs, which outlines all of the common allegations raised in the various cases. As a result, new plaintiffs filing lawsuits can use a Short Form Complaint (PDF), indicating which specific allegations are adopted, and outlining certain case-specific details involved in their case.

The Master Complaint involves counts against C.R. Bard for designing and manufacturing a defective medical device, failure to warn, failure to recall, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, violating unfair trade practices in various states, loss of consortium, and, in some cases, wrongful death.

As Bard IVC filter lawyers continue to review and file additional cases, it is ultimately expected that several thousand lawsuits will be brought in the MDL by individuals throughout the U.S.

IVC Blood Clot Filter Concerns

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are small medical devices that have been implanted in many patients at risk for a pulmonary embolism.

The Bard Recovery and G2 filters are two models involved in the lawsuits, which are designed to be retrievable once the risk of a blood clot has passed. However, plaintiffs allege that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the importance of removing the filter once the risk of a blood clot has passed, as problems may be more likely to occur the longer the device is in place.

In August 2010, the FDA issued a warning about the risk of IVC filter problems, indicating that the agency had received hundreds of adverse event reports where filters broke free and travelled to other areas of the body or caused other injury.

A study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine in March 2013 raised questions about the effectiveness of IVC filters, indicating that less than 10% of filters evaluated in the study were successfully removed from patients and 8% of recipients of IVC filters suffered a pulmonary embolism despite the device’s presence.

In May 2014, the FDA urged doctors to remove IVC filters within about one to two months after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed, suggesting that many doctors were not adequately warned about the importance of retrieving the devices.

Similar claims have also been raised in Cook Celect and Gunther Tulip IVC filter lawsuits filed over another retrievable design that has been linked to reports of problems. Those cases are consolidated as part of a separate MDL, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana, where a small group of cases are being prepared for early trial dates expected to begin late next year.


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