A group of plaintiffs have filed suit against C.R. Bard, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri, accusing the medical device maker of manufacturing defective IVC (inferior vena cava) filters. All of the plaintiffs named in the complaint allegedly suffered serious injuries due to the malfunction of a C.R. Bard blood clot filter. (Case No. 1622-CC00316)
IVC filters are implanted in the inferior vena cava to prevent pulmonary embolism in patients unable to take standard blood-thinning medications. According to a complaint filed in Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis, C.R. Bard’s blood clot filters have been used in medical facilities throughout the U.S. since their introduction in the 1960s. However, plaintiffs claim that the company failed to disclose their risks and failed to take corrective action to improve the devices when patients began experiencing adverse events.
This is only one of the most recent cases filed against C.R. Bard, which is currently named a defendant in more than 1,800 IVC filter lawsuits, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered serious injuries due to filter fracture, migration and other device malfunctions. The majority of these cases have been centralized in a federal multidistrict litigation that is currently underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. The lawsuits at the center of this litigation involve retrievable filters, which are intended to be removed once a patient is no longer at risk for blood clots.
According to an investigative report that aired on NBC Nightly News in 2015, C.R. Bard’s Recovery filter was associated with more than 300 non-fatal injuries and 27 deaths before it was replaced with the G2 IVC filters series in 2005. However, the G2 filters were also linked to about a dozen deaths during the five years they were on the market. Among other things, the reports highlighted a confidential study commissioned by C.R. Bard in 2004, which linked the Recovery filter to higher rates of death, fracture and movement compared to its competitors. Another document that included data through 2010 indicated that G2 filters were the subject of more adverse event reports compared to other brands of retrievable IVC filters.
In 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration disclosed that its adverse event database had received more than 900 reports of IVC filter complications linked to retrievable devices. Four years later, the agency issued a second advisory that urged doctors to remove temporary blood clot filters within 29 to 54 days of their implantation in order to reduce the risk of patient harm.