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A Texas jury has ordered Cook Medical to pay $1.2 million in damages as a result of a Cook Celect Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) lawsuit filed by a Houston firefighter, after the blood clot filter migrated and perforated his aorta.
The case is one of about 3,000 product liability lawsuits pending nationwide against Cook Medical, each involving similar problems with retrievable IVC filters, which are designed to catch blood clots and prevent them from traveling to the lungs. However, plaintiffs allege that design defects make Cook Celect and other IVC filters prone to move out of position, puncture the vein or fracture, often causing small pieces to travel to the heart or lungs.
Following a state court trial in Houston, a jury found that Cook was liable for injuries suffered by Jeff Pavlock, who filed a product liability complaint after his IVC filter tilted out of position and perforated his aorta and duodenum.
It is the first loss for Cook Medical in an IVC filter trial, after the first case ended in a defense verdict in November 2017, and the company convinced the judge to grant a summary judgment in their favor in a second bellwether trial. Both of those trials occurred in the federal court system, where complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
In a press release issued on May 24, Cook officials said they intend to appeal the verdict.
While the outcome of the early bellwether cases are not binding on other plaintiffs, they are being closely watched by lawyers involved in the litigation, and may influence eventual IVC filter settlement negotiations, which would be necessary to avoid thousands of individual trials being scheduled in courts nationwide.
In addition to Cook IVC filter lawsuits, there are also a large number of Bard Recovery filter lawsuitsand Bard G2 filter lawsuits pending in a separate MDL, which is centralized before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell in Arizona.