A lawsuit involving C.R. Bard’s G2X retrievable IVC filter will be heading to trial in September, after a federal judge in Arizona refused a defense bid for summary judgment on claims for negligent design, negligence per se, strict liability, design defect, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.
The case will be the third IVC filter lawsuit to go before a jury in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, where thousands of claims involving Bard’s retrievable blood clot filters are currently undergoing coordinated pretrial proceedings. As a bellwether case, the outcome of the trial is expected to provide some insight as to how other juries might rule in similar lawsuits.
According to the complaint, Lisa Hyde received Bard’s G2X IVC filter in February 2011. The device was removed in April 2014, after the filter tilted, fractured, and perforated the wall of her vena cava. One of the filter’s struts also became lodged in the right ventricle of Hyde’s heart.
C.R. Bard had motioned for summary judgment on all claims put forth in Hyde’s complaint. In an Order dated July 26th, Judge David G. Campbell granted summary judgement on her failure to warn, failure to recall, misrepresentation, concealment, fraud, and breach of implied warranty. However, he refused to dismiss Hyde’s remaining claims, clearing the lawsuit for trial on September 18th.
IVC filters were designed to treat patients at risk for pulmonary embolism who are unable to use standard blood-thinning medications. The devices, which resemble small wire cages, are implanted into the inferior vena cave to intercept blood clots before they can make their way to the heart and lungs. Retrievable filters should 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:
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.
More than 4,100 IVC lawsuits have been centralized in the District of Arizona, all of which were filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered serious injuries and complications due to the malfunction of Bard’s devices, including the Recovery, G2, G2X, Eclipse, Meridian, and Denali retrievable blood clot filters.
Plaintiffs pursuing these cases allege that Bard’s filters are more dangerous than other IVC filters because they have higher risks of tilting, perforating the inferior vena cava, or fracturing and migrating to vital organs. Plaintiffs further allege that Bard failed to warn patients and physicians about these higher risks.
The District of Arizona concluded the litigation’s first bellwether trial last March, when 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 in that case was awarded $3.6 million in actual and 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.