A settlement conference convened to discuss possible resolution of IVC filter lawsuits filed against Cook Medical, Inc. has failed to produce any agreement. Bellwether trials could begin in the federal multidistrict litigation early next year.
At least 550 Cook IVC filter lawsuits are now pending in the centralized proceeding underway in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana. The litigation involves a number of retrievable blood clot filters manufactured by Cook, including the Gunther Tulip and Celect models, which are indicated for use in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism. The small, wire, cage-like filters are implanted into the inferior vena cave, where they intercept blood clots before they can travel to the heart and lungs.
Plaintiffs who have filed IVC filter lawsuits against Cook Medical claim that the company’ s devices are prone to fracture, migration and other problems that can result in life-threatening complications. Among other things, the lawsuits cite a 2012 study which found that the Celect and Gunther Tulip filters exhibited some degree of inferior vena cava perforation in 100% of patients within 71 days of implantation. Full perforation occurred in 86% of observed cases. In 40% of patients, the filters tilted out of position.
On June 27th, the Court held a settlement conference in an attempt to negotiate a resolution before bellwether trials commence next year. However, a docket entry issued on June 29th indicates that the parties were unable to come to an agreement.
In April, the parties proposed that six individual cases be selected for a serious of bellwether trials that could begin in early 2017. The outcomes of these trials could provide some insight into how juries might decide similar Cook IVC filter lawsuits.
Court documents indicate that hundreds of additional lawsuits involving C.R. Bard, Inc.’s Recovery and G2 IVC filters area also pending in courts around the country, including more than 300 cases that have been centralized in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. Plaintiffs involved in these lawsuits have put forth many of the same allegations that have been raised in the Cook litigation. The Bard proceeding’s bellwether trials could also begin in 2017.
Reports recently aired on NBC Nightly News indicated that the Recovery and G2 series filters were associated with more fractures, migrations and reported problems than any of their competitors. The adverse events tied to the devices included 12 fatalities among G2 recipients, and 27 deaths involving the Recovery device.