Cook Medical faces IVC filter bellwether lawsuit in Indiana

by Jay Pate

The first of three IVC filter bellwether lawsuits against Cook Medical began recently in Indiana. The three bellwether cases are part of the 1,900-lawsuit multidistrict litigation facing Cook Medical over injuries caused by its IVC filters.

IVC filters – or inferior vena cava filters – are medical devices designed to prevent complications like pulmonary embolism in patients at risk of blood clots. The devices are planted in a major blood vessel in the leg (the inferior vena cava), where they help to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart, lungs, or brain and causing a PE, heart attack, or stroke.

The Indiana lawsuit against Cook Medical was filed by Elizabeth Jane Hill, who was implanted with an IVC filter sold by the company. Hill’s lawsuit alleges that after she received the IVC filter, the device migrated inside her body from a blood vessel to her duodenum. She alleges that she suffered complications, including GI problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain as a result of the migration of her IVC filter.

Initially, doctors were unable to retrieve the migrated IVC filter from Hill’s body. She was forced to live with the device – and the complications it was causing – for three years. When a surgeon was finally able to remove the device, he found that some of the damage caused by the migrated IVC filter would be permanent. This permanent damage included a narrowing of the inferior vena cava, narrowing of the intestines where the filter migrated, and scarring caused by the migration of the device.

Hill’s lawsuit against Cook Medical alleges that the company failed to properly warn patients about the risk of complications associated with the company’s IVC filters. The lawsuit alleges that Cook knew its IVC filters were difficult or impossible to remove, while also not being designed for long-term use.

The lawsuit also alleges that after patients were no longer at risk of blood clots, patients with the Cook Celect IVC filter were at risk of permanent damage to their internal organs. The lawsuit states that the thin wires on the Cook Celect filter can break and migrate throughout the body, causing soft tissue damage. Patients who are unable to have the IVC filter or these broken fragments removed from their body may be faced to take medications to prevent blood clots for the rest of their life.

Hill’s lawsuit against Cook Medical is the first of three bellwether trials that will be conducted as part of the 1,900-case MDL facing the company. Results from these three bellwether cases will help to determine settlements in the hundreds of other lawsuits filed by patients who suffered complications after being implanted with one of the company’s IVC filters.

Injured by an IVC Filter? Our lawyers can help.

If you or a loved one have suffered complications from an IVC filter sold by Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, or other medical device manufacturers, you may qualify to take legal action. The first step in filing a lawsuit is to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you the first steps in filing a claim.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented numerous clients who have been injured by defective medical devices, dangerous drugs, or other medical products. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when medical device companies fail to ensure their products meet minimum health and safety requirements, they should be held accountable for injuries caused by their products in a court of law. Our attorneys believe that all patients deserve access to experienced, qualified legal counsel to represent their rights in court and ensure the best possible result in their case.

For a free legal consultation and to find out more about whether you may be eligible to file an IVC filter lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few questions about your case to get started.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.