C.R. Bard IVC Filter Litigation Gearing Up for First Federal Bellwether Trial

Published on January 5, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

The federal court overseeing thousands of IVC (inferior vena cava) filter lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. is set to convene its first bellwether trial in March.

According to a Case Management Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, on November 21st, the first case – Sherr-Una Booker v. C R Bard Incorporated and Bard Peripheral Vascular Incorporated (2:16-cv-00474) – is tentatively scheduled to go to trial on March 13, 2018, assuming the Court is able to resolve all Daubert motions.

If that is accomplished, the final pretrial conference will be held on February 23, 2018.

The parties are to file all motions in limine no later than January 26, 2018. Responses to motions in limine are to be filed on or before February 9, 2018.

The Order also directs the parties to file a proposed, final pretrial order no later than February 18, 2018.

Background on C.R. Bard IVC Filters

More than 3,000 IVC filter lawsuits are pending in the District of Arizona, all of which were filed on behalf of patients who allegedly suffered serious complications following implantation of a Bard device. Plaintiffs claim that C.R. Bard concealed the potentially dangerous side effects associated with its retrievable IVC filters, including filter migration, fracture, organ perforation, embolization, and inferior vena cava punctures, and failed to warn doctors and patients about these risks.

Bard’s IVC filters are indicated for use in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism when standard blood thinning drugs are not an option. The small wire devices are implanted in the inferior vena cava so that they can block blood clots from making their way to the heart and lungs. The filters are designed to be retrieved once a patient is no longer at risk.

In 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) disclosed that its adverse event database had received more than 900 reports of complications linked to retrievable blood clot filters, such as those involved the C.R. Bard litigation. Four years later, the agency issued a second advisory that urged doctors to remove retrievable filters within 29 to 54 days of their implantation in order to reduce the risk of patient harm.

According to a report that aired on NBC Nightly News in November 2017, C.R. Bard’s Recovery blood clot filter has been associated with more than 300 non-fatal injuries and 27 deaths before the company stopped selling the devices in 2005. The network later reported that the Recovery’s replacement – the G2 IVC filter – had been linked with a higher rate of complications compared to competitor devices. The purportedly improved devices were also tied to at least a dozen deaths.

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