IVC Filter Lawsuit News: Jury Selection Ordered for First C.R. Bard Bellwether Trial

Published on January 30, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

The federal court overseeing thousands of IVC filter lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. has issued an Order for jury selection ahead of the multidistrict litigation’s first bellwether trial.

Bard IVC Filter Litigation Background

C.R. Bard is named a defendant in at least 3,400 product liability claims involving its retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, including the controversial Recovery and G2 brands, all of which are undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. Plaintiffs involved in this litigation claim that the devices are prone to fracture, migration, and other problems that may lead to:

  • Heart or chest pain
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Organ perforation
  • Blood vessel perforation
  • Erosion into the inferior vena cava
  • Bleeding or fluid buildup around the heart
  • Embolization of filter fragments
  • Death

The litigation’s first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin in March. Plaintiffs and attorneys involved in the litigation will be monitoring the proceeding closely, as the verdict in the case could provide some insight into how other juries might rule in similar IVC filter lawsuits.

Case Management Order Outlines Jury Selection Process

The case selected for the first bellwether trial is Sherr-Una Booker v. C R Bard Incorporated and Bard Peripheral Vascular Incorporated (2:16-cv-00474).

According to a Pretrial Order dated January 16th, 200 perspective jurors have been mailed case-specific jury questionnaires. Jury selection and other pretrial matters will move forward as follows:

  • The parties will be provided with a list of prospective jurors the Court proposes to excuse for hardship on February 23, 2018
  • The final pretrial conference will be held on March 2, 2018
  • 60 prospective jurors will be called to Court to appear for voir dire on March 14, 2018
  • The Court will seat nine jurors
  • Opening statements will begin on the afternoon of March 14, 2018

Bard IVC Filter Lawsuits: What’s the Problem?

Bard’s IVC filters are indicated for use in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism, but who are unable to use standard blood-thinning medications. The tiny metal devices resemble a wire cage, and are inserted into the inferior vena cava. Once in place, the filters can prevent blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. C.R. Bard’s retrievable filters are intended to be removed once a patient is out of danger.

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, including:

  • 328 reports of IVC filter migration
  • 145 reports of IVC filter embolization
  • 70 reports of IVC filters perforating the inferior vena cava
  • 50 reports of IVC filter fracture

Four years later, the agency issued a second advisory urging healthcare providers to retrieve temporary blood clot filters within 29 to 54 days of their implantation in order to reduce the risk of patient harm.

In 2015, NBC News reported that C.R. Bard’s Recovery blood clot filter had been linked to more than 300 non-fatal injuries and 27 deaths before the company stopped selling the devices in 2005. Months later, the network reported that Bard’s G2 IVC filter – which replaced the Recovery filter – were associated with a higher rate of complications compared to other competitor filters. G2 filter malfunctions were also tied to at least a dozen deaths.

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