A proposal put forth by parties involved in the C.R. Bard IVC filter litigation would allow some cases to head to trial as early as next year. According to a Joint Report filed with the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, on January 21st, the plan would involve two separate discovery tracks for more advanced lawsuits vs. newer cases.
At least 78 IVC filter lawsuits have been filed against Bard in the federal multidistrict litigation now underway in Arizona. All of the cases put forth similar allegations regarding the propensity of Bard’s Recovery and G2 blood clot filters to fracture, tilt, and migrate, causing serious injury to patients. The litigation was only created this past August, and some legal experts believe that hundreds of additional claims will eventually be filed in the proceeding.
A number of the Bard IVC filter cases now pending in the centralized litigation had already reached an advanced stage of discovery, and were nearing readiness for trial when they were transferred to the District of Arizona. The January 21st Joint Status Report proposes that discovery be completed in these cases by July 1, 2016. The parties would then exchange supplemental expert reports and complete expert discovery by November 4, 2016. This schedule would likely allow the advanced cases to be trial ready by early 2017.
The second discovery track for the more recent lawsuits would enable the close of discovery into general issues to occur by October 28, 2016. Common-issue expert discovery would then wrap up by May 19, 2017.
Meanwhile, nearly 200 product liability claims involving IVC filters marketed by Cook Medical are moving forward in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. A bellwether trial plan calls for four of those cases to be prepared for trials that would get underway after September 15, 2016.
Bellwether trials are important part of any consolidated litigation. While their outcomes are not binding on other claims included in a proceeding, they can provide some insight into how juries might decide similar lawsuit.