Lopez McHugh co-founder and partner Ramon Rossi Lopez has been selected to help lead the newly established Bard inferior vena cava (IVC) filter MDL. In a recent case management order, U.S. District Judge David Campbell, who is presiding over the Arizona litigation, appointed 24 lawyers to a Plaintiffs Leadership Counsel. Along with another attorney, Lopez will co-lead the plaintiffs’ side of the case, while 22 other lawyers will form the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
IVC filter lawsuits have been filed by patients who claim the small, spider-like devices were defectively designed and unlawfully marketed. IVC filters are intended to catch or break up blood clots in the vena cava before they can gather near vital organs and cause life-threatening events, such as strokes. However, adverse event reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as various studies conducted by both device manufacturers and other organizations, show that IVC filters have a significant chance of tilting or becoming dislodged while in the body. This can lead to perforation of the vena caval wall, and in some cases, pieces or whole devices may break away and become lodged in nearby organs, which can prove fatal.
A report made available in a recent NBC News story compared the relative safety of Bard’s Recovery IVC filter with that of competing devices and found that the Recovery filter had a greater chance of fracturing, migrating, or causing death than other IVC filters. The previously confidential document showed that Bard was indeed aware its IVC filter posed unreasonable health risks, yet waited nearly a year before taking it off the market. Plaintiffs in Bard IVC filter lawsuits say the company put profits before patients and knowingly marketed a potentially dangerous device.
Roughly two months ago, all pending federal Bard IVC filter lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Twenty-two Bard IVC filter lawsuits were initially included, but that number has already doubled. To help coordinate the litigation, Ramon Lopez was appointed Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead. Lopez will have the additional responsibilities of coordinating the establishment of a document repository, maintaining and making available all documents served by or upon each party, and preparing agendas for court conferences.