Federal Court Overseeing C.R. Bard IVC Filter Lawsuits to Convene Additional Bellwether Trials

Published on July 12, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

The federal court overseeing thousands of IVC filter lawsuits involving devices manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. is preparing to hold three additional bellwether trials beginning in the Fall.

According to a Case Management Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, on June 28th, those trials will be convened as follows:

  • September 2018: Plaintiff Carol Kruse
  • November 2018: Plaintiffs Lisa and Mark Hyde
  • February 2019: Plaintiff Debra Mulkey

The Kruse and Hyde trials will involve Bard’s G2 inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, while the Mulkey trial will involve the Eclipse IVC filter.

The Kruse trial will be held on September 18-21 and 24-28, and October 1-5. The Plaintiff will be allotted 33 hours of trial time and Defendants will be allotted 30 hours of trial time. Jury deliberations are tentatively set to begin the morning of October 4, 2018.

The Order also indicated that a case filed on behalf of Debra Tinlin has been selected for the litigation’s sixth bellwether trial. That lawsuit involves injuries allegedly caused by C.R. Bard’s Recovery IVC filter.

C.R. Bard IVC Filter Bellwether Trials

More than 4,000 IVC filter claims have been centralized in the District of Arizona, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who suffered serious injuries and complications, allegedly due to the malfunction of retrievable IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard.

The litigation’s bellwether trials are intended to act as test cases and could provide insight into how other juries will rule in similar IVC filter lawsuits.

The proceeding’s first bellwether trial concluded in March, after a jury found that C.R. Bard was negligent in failing to warn doctors about the dangers potentially associated with the G2 IVC filter. The Plaintiff was awarded $1.6 million in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

The litigation’s second bellwether trial concluded in May, with a win for C.R. Bard. That case involved the company’s Eclipse IVC filter.

IVC Filter Complications

IVC filters are indicated for use in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism, but who are unable to use standard blood-thinning medications.  The small, wire, cage-like devices are implanted into the inferior vena cave to intercept blood clots before they can make their way to the heart and lungs. Retrievable filters, such as those involved in the C.R. Bard litigation, are designed to be removed once a patient is no longer at risk for blood clots.

In 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it had received over 900 reports of IVC filter complications, including:

  • 328 reports of filter migration
  • 145 reports of embolization
  • 70 reports of inferior vena cava perforations
  • 50 reports of filter fracture

The FDA issued a second alert just four years later reminding 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.

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