Plaintiffs in Bard inferior vena cava (IVC) filter lawsuits have filed a motion to consolidate their cases before a single judge in a multidistrict litigation. A group of plaintiffs appeared before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, requesting coordinated pretrial proceedings in Texas or Nevada for at least 25 Bard IVC filter lawsuits in 22 federal jurisdictions. Hundreds of additional lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming months.
Bard IVC filters include levels of spoke-like struts designed to anchor the device in the inferior vena cava and limit the travel and gathering of blood clots throughout the body, thereby preventing strokes and other life-threatening events. However, Bard IVC filters have proven to be potentially deadly in themselves. Numerous studies have shown that pieces of IVC filters, and sometimes entire devices, can break away and become lodged in vital organs such as the heart and lungs.
Recent years have seen a number of Bard IVC filter lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that as early as 2003, Bard possessed data showing that the company’s Recovery IVC filter posed an unreasonably high risk of injury due to splintering or dislocation. Bard allegedly did not inform the FDA of this unreasonable risk, and kept its dangerous IVC filter on the market until 2005, when the company released its new G2 filter. The FDA has received over 900 adverse event reports since issuing an alert about the filters in August 2010. Although Bard has tried on multiple occasions to have IVC filter lawsuits dismissed, plaintiffs’ efforts continue to be upheld in courts across the country.
Earlier this year, Lopez McHugh successfully represented a plaintiff in the second Bard IVC filter lawsuit in the nation to go to trial. Attorney Ramon Rossi Lopez provided evidence that Bard knew of the unreasonable risk its IVC filters posed yet still marketed and distributed the device. The IVC filter case settled eleven days into trial.
Experts estimate that over 100,000 Bard IVC filters have been implanted in the United States.