Cook Medical, Inc. is seeking to postpone a Settlement Conference in the multidistrict litigation involving the company’s Celect and Gunther Tulip IVC filters.
Court records indicate that the Conference was scheduled to be convened next month, from March 22nd through the 26th, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana. But Cook is seeking a continence of 60 days in order to give its recently retained counsel additional time to review information surrounding the claims and to confer with the company.
IVC filters are small, wire cage-like devices that are implanted into the inferior vena cava. They are intended to be used in patients who can not take standard blood thinners, and are designed to intercept clots before they can travel to the heart or lungs and become a pulmonary embolism. The blood clot filters involved in the Cook Medical litigation are retrievable, and are meant to be removed once a patient is not longer at risk for pulmonary embolism.
Cook Medical has been named in nearly 200 IVC filter lawsuit that are now pending in the Southern District of Indiana. All of the cases were filed on behalf of patients who allegedly experienced embolization, inferior vena cava perforation, organ damage and other potentially life-threatening complications due to tilting, fracture or migration of the company’s Celect and Gunther Tulip blood clot filters.
The Court had initially ordered the parties to meet for settlement negotiations in September 2015. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the Court is likely to hold a series of bellwether trials later this year. The outcome of those “test” trials could provide insight into how juries could decide similar Cook IVC filter cases.
Cook Medical is not the only company facing litigation over its IVC filters. C.R. Bard, Inc. has been named in more than 80 similar claims involving its Recovery and G2 retrievable IVC filters. Those cases have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. Court documents indicate that the proceeding’s bellwether trials could begin in 2017.