C.R. Bard Agrees to IVC Filter Settlement Just Days Before Bellwether Trial

Published on May 15, 2019 by Laurie Villanueva

C.R. Bard, Inc. has apparently agreed to an IVC filter settlement in a personal injury lawsuit involving its Recovery blood clot filter.

The case was scheduled to go to trial this week in the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, where more than 7,000 IVC filter lawsuits involving Bard devices have been centralized for coordinated pretrial proceedings. As a bellwether trial, the outcome of the case was expected to provide insight into how other juries might decide similar claims.

Recovery IVC Filter Complications

IVC filters are placed in the inferior vena cava to prevent pulmonary embolism in patients who are unable to take standard blood-thinning medications. The small implants look like wire cages and are designed to catch clots that have broken loose from elsewhere in the body before they can travel to the heart or lungs.

Retrievable devices, like Bard’s Recovery blood clot filter, are intended to be removed once a patient is out of danger. But recent studies suggest many retrievable IVC filters remain in place far longer than necessary, often because removal is difficult or impossible.

The U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two IVC filter warnings since 2010, after the implants were implicated in hundreds of reports of device migration, embolization, perforation, and fracture. Among other things, the agency suggested that many of these problems could be avoided if doctors removed retrievable blood clot filters as soon as medically possible, once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided.

In 2015, NBC News reported that Bard’s Recovery IVC filter had been associated with more than 300 non-fatal injuries and 27 deaths before it was discontinued in 2005. The broadcast also highlighted a confidential company study that linked the Recovery filter to higher rates of death, fracture and movement compared to its competitors.

Bellwether Trial Vacated After IVC Filter Settlement Reported

Plaintiff Debra Tinlin, a resident of Wisconsin, received Bard’s Recovery blood clot filter in 2005 to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. According to her complaint, the device fractured in 2013, causing some of its struts to perforate her inferior vena cava. Other fragments migrated throughout Tinlin’s body, including pieces that lodged in her pulmonary artery, where they remain to this day and continue to endanger her life.

Jury selection for Tinlin’s case was to begin on Monday, May 13th. However, the Court vacated the trial on May 10th, after the parties’ counsel reported the confidential IVC filter settlement.

Three other Bard IVC filter lawsuits have gone to trial in the federal litigation since March 2018. The first involved the G2 blood clot filter, and resulted in a $3.6 million verdict for the plaintiff. The company won the next two trials, which involved the company’s Eclipse and G2X retrievable IVC filters.

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