Articles Tagged with Cook Medical

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IVC Filter Bellwether CasesA “bellwether” is someone or something that leads others or shows what will happen in the future or is an indicator of trends. In the legal world a bellwether case is very important because it leads the way in how a large number of lawsuits may be litigated or settled.

Too Many Cases, Not Enough Resources

If there are many plaintiffs suing the same defendant for the same reason with similar facts there are different ways all these cases could be handled. They could,

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Cook IVC Filter LitigationIn every lawsuit the court issues key rulings which will impact the outcome of the case. By “court” I mean the presiding judge. Some court decisions end the lawsuit (e.g., a judge granting a defendant’s summary judgment motion). Some decisions kick a leg of the stool out from under one party (granting a motion to exclude one side’s key expert witness). As I have written about in this blog, a judge has great power and influence over every court case. One decision has the power to make or break the lawsuit.

Recently, in the Cook IVC filter multidistrict litigation, a federal judge has refused to bar discovery involving an allegation that Cook failed to report to the FDA bad results with the Cook IVC filters.

What Is Discovery?

After a lawsuit is filed, the defendants have the chance to “answer” the complaint (“yes, we admit that happened” or “no, we deny the truth of that statement”). After these “pleadings” are filed, the parties engage in formal discovery. In civil litigation, discovery is the exchange of documents and information between the parties. It is required by the Rules of Civil Procedure. It goes like this: one side will write out questions (Interrogatories) or requests for documents (Requests for Production of Documents). Unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the information, the other side must then prepare written answers and make all requested documents available to the requesting party. From there, the parties can build their cases for trial.

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When medical devices work as intended they are wonderful things. They can extend lives and improve the quality of life for patients and ease the stress on patients’ families. When they don’t work as intended medical devices can do more harm than good, possibly killing the patient. One example is the Cook IVC filter.

What is an IVC Filter?

The inferior vena cava (or IVC) is a large vein carrying blood from the lower and middle body into the heart where the blood is pumped into the lungs in order to have oxygen added to it. An IVC filter is a device that’s surgically implanted into the IVC just below the kidneys in cases where there is fear a blood clot from the legs (deep vein thrombosis) may travel from the body into the heart or lungs (pulmonary embolism). If that happens the results can be a serious, if not fatal, injury for the patient.

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