A Mississippi man has become one of the latest plaintiffs to pursue an IVC filter lawsuit against C.R. Bard, Inc. for injuries allegedly related to the design and manufacture of its Eclipse filter. His complaint, which is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, indicates that the device “grossly tilted” and resulted in the perforation of his inferior vena cava, the major blood vessel which carries blood from the lower part of the body to the right ventricle of the heart.
According to the December 9th filing, the plaintiff received a Bard Eclipse IVC filter in September 2010. The filter subsequently “grossly tilted” and perforated the inferior vena cava. As a result, at least five of the filter’s legs appear to have moved outside of the blood vessel, with 2 of those abutting the anterior and posterior wall of the abdominal aorta. The lawsuit further asserts that the filter can no longer be removed, which places the plaintiff at risk for future fracture and embolization.
This case is one of dozens of product liability claims currently targeting Bard’s retrievable IVC filters. The devices are implanted in the inferior vena cava, where they catch blood clots before the clot can travel to the lungs and become a pulmonary embolism. Currently, more than 70 IVC filter lawsuits involving the company’s products are consolidated in a multidistrict litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. All of the cases included in the litigation similarly allege that the Eclipse IVC filter and other Bard devices are unreasonably dangerous and defectively designed, making them more likely to tilt, fracture, migrate and perforate the inferior vena cava compared to competitor products.
The federal Bard IVC filter litigation was established by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in October, in order to allow what could ultimately be hundreds of similar lawsuits move efficiently through the court system. The proceeding’s first Scheduling Conference was convened on October 29th, so that Court could address scope of discovery, the handling of advanced cases that are nearly ready for trial, and several other important issues. The litigation’s first Status Conference is scheduled for January 29, 2016.