Kentucky doctor faces malpractice lawsuit over IVC filter complications

by Eric Pearson

A doctor in Kentucky is facing a medical malpractice lawsuit for allegedly failing to warn a patient about the health risks associated with intra vena cava filters. These devices – also known as IVC filters – are implanted by a surgeon in order to prevent pulmonary embolism in patients at risk of blood clots.

The lawsuit was filed by Jacqulyn Harrington, who was implanted with an IVC filter by her doctor, Alex Argotte. Harrington alleged that the doctor has failed to warn her about the risk that her IVC filter could fracture or fragment after implantation.

IVC filters have been linked to a risk of serious and potential fatal complications. In 2010, the FDA warned about the risk of deadly complications associated with these blood clot devices, including device migration, fracturing, or fragmenting. The agency reported that it had received hundreds of reports of serious complications associated with IVC filters, including some which were fatal. Because of the health risks associated with IVC filters, the FDA has warned that patients who are treated with retrievable filters should have the devices removed by a doctor as soon as possible to prevent possible complications.

Harrington alleged that although Dr. Argotte had warned her about the risk of “migration of filter” prior to her surgery, the doctor’s consent form did not contain any information about the potential risk of device “fracturing” or “fragmentation.” Attorneys for Dr. Argotte attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that an expert witness was required in order to determine whether the surgeon had properly warned Harrington about the risks associated with IVC filters. However, an appeals court in Kentucky rejected this argument. The court stated that the factual question as to whether the information provided by Dr. Argotte “would provide ‘a reasonable individual’ with ‘a general understanding’ of the risk that the filter” was “one that could readily be resolved by reasonable jurors without the assistance of expert testimony.”

Lawsuits Filed Against IVC Filter Manufacturers

In addition to malpractice lawsuits filed against doctors who may have failed to warn their patients about the risks of IVC filters, several manufactures of these devices are also facing product liability lawsuits filed by patients who suffered complications after surgery. The majority of these lawsuits have been filed against two medical device manufacturers in particular: C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.

C.R. Bard’s Recovery brand IVC filters were first placed on the market in 2003. Since then, the company has faced numerous lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who suffered complications from Bard IVC filters marketed under the brand names Bard Denali, Bard Eclipse, Bard G2 or G2 Express, Bard Meridian, and Bard Recovery.

Lawsuits have also been filed against Cook Medical on behalf of patients who suffered complications caused by the migration, fracturing, or fragmentation of their IVC filters. Cook Medical IVC filters have been marketed under the brand names Cook Celect, Cook Gunther Tulip, Cook Platinum Celect.

Patients Who Suffered IVC Filter Complications May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one suffered complications from an IVC filter manufactured by C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, or other medical device manufacturers, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against the maker of the filter that you received. Victims of IVC filter complications may also be able to file a lawsuit against surgeons for failing to warn about the risk of complications associated with IVC filter. The first step in determining whether you may qualify is to speak with an experienced attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in filing a claim.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of patients who were hurt by defective medical devices. Our firm has also filed claims on behalf of patients who were hurt by dangerous drugs or wrongful actions on the part of doctors, hospitals, or medical staff. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the legal training, experience, and financial resources to take even the most complex product liability lawsuits to trial on behalf of our clients.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when medical device manufacturers or drug companies fail to ensure that their products fully comply with health and safety regulations, they should be held accountable for the injuries caused by their products. Our attorneys believe that all clients should have access to experienced, professional legal counsel to ensure that their legal rights are protected to the fullest extent of the law.

If you or a loved one have suffered complications caused by defective IVC filters, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about whether you may be eligible to file a claim. For a free legal consultation to find out if you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact our office by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few short questions to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.