Thousands of IVC Filter lawsuits involving allegedly defective devices marketed by C.R. Bard, Inc. and Cook Medical, Inc. continue to move forward in courts throughout the country.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs with Bard IVC filters lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, have been granted a motion to remove a case from the multidistrict litigation’s bellwether trial schedule.
The lawsuit, Mulkey vs C.R. Bard, Inc., 2:16-cv-00853, was set to go to trial in February 2019. In motioning to have the case pulled from the bellwether lineup, Plaintiffs’ Counsel argued that another trial involving an Eclipse IVC filter lawsuit would be redundant and was a waste of resources.
Defendants’ opposed the motion, and accused plaintiffs of trying to “game” the bellwether trial process.
The plaintiffs’ motion was granted in an Order dated November 8th, with the Court noting that the Mulkey case would have been the third bellwether trial involving the Bard Eclipse filter.
“If Mulkey goes to trial, it would be the third trial involving an Eclipse filter. The parties have learned much about the strengths, weaknesses, and value of Eclipse cases from the Jones and Hyde trials,” the Order states. “Defendants would present essentially the same liability evidence in Mulkey that they presented in Jones and Hyde.”
The Court also disagreed with the Defense contention that the Plaintiffs were trying to manipulate the bellwether trial schedule, as it had previously warned that it would not tolerate any such attempts.
“This is not, in the Court’s view, an effort to skew the bellwether process, but a legitimate effort to avoid the expense of a trial that most likely will provide little new information,” the court concluded.
There are currently more than 4,500 Bard IVC filter lawsuits pending in the federal multidistrict litigation.
The proceeding’s first bellwether trial concluded in March, when a recipient of Bard’s G2 filter was awarded $3.6 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The litigation’s second bellwether trial – involving Bard’s Eclipse IVC Filter – concluded in May, with a win for the defense.
Another Eclipse IVC filter lawsuit selected for the litigation’s third bellwether trial was dismissed in August, after the Court found that the case had been filed after the statute of limitations expired.
The jury convened for a fourth bellwether case involving Bard’s G2X IVC filter delivered a defense verdict in October.
Meanwhile, it appears that settlement negotiations are continuing in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, where more 4,700 Cook Medical IVC filter lawsuits are currently undergoing centralized pretrial proceedings.
The ongoing discussion were addressed in an Order dated November 5th, which noted that a settlement conference had been convened on October 29th.
The parties were directed to continue their negotiations and notify the Magistrate Judge of their progress.
All of the lawsuits pending in the federal litigation similarly allege that Cook Medical’s Gunther Tulip, Celect, and other retrievable IVC filters are defective and prone to fracture, migrate or otherwise malfunction, placing patients at risk for organ damage, blood vessel perforation, and other life-threatening complications.
Cook Medical won the federal multidistrict litigation’s first bellwether trial in November 2017, while the second bellwether case was dismissed 4 months later.
In May, however, a jury in Texas state court awarded $1.2 million to firefighter who suffered serious complications after a Cook Celect IVC filter tilted, migrated, and perforated his aorta and duodenum.