Cook Medical Seeks Postponement of IVC Filter Settlement Conference

A settlement conference is currently scheduled for next month as part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings for hundreds of IVC filter lawsuits pending against Cook Medical in the federal court system. However, the medical device manufacturer recently asked the judge presiding over the litigation to continue the conference for a period of 60 days.

Since October 2014, all Cook Celect and Cook Gunther Tulip filter lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country have been consolidated as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

The cases are centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana to avoid duplicative discovery into common issues in the cases, reduce the risk of contradictory pretrial rulings from different Courts and the serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the judicial system.

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Each of the complaints raise similar allegations that individuals suffered devastating complications from blood clot filters implanted into the inferior vena cava to prevent a pulmonary embolism, often involving problems where the device perforated the vein, migrated to another area of the body or fractured, sending small metal pieces into the heart or lungs.

During an MDL conference in September 2015, the Court ordered the parties to meet for settlement negotiations in the IVC filter cases with a U.S. Magistrate Judge. While the settlement conference was originally scheduled for February 16 through 18, it was later pushed back to March 22 through 26.

In a motion (PDF) filed this week, attorneys for Cook Medical asked the Court to postpone the settlement conference for 60 days, indicating that settlement counsel recently retained by the manufacturer require additional time to review information surrounding the claims and to confer with Cook Medical.

If Cook fails to reach IVC filter settlements to resolve the cases, it is expected that a series of bellwether cases will go to trial later this year to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

The progress of these claims are being closely monitored, as similar allegations have been raised in a growing number of similar complaints filed over Bard Recovery filters and Bard G2 filters, which are centralize as part of a separate federal MDL in the District of Arizona.


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