Articles Tagged with IVC FIlter

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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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IVC Filter StudyPeople who get medical implants don’t do so out of boredom. They get the surgery because they have a serious medical problem or they want to prevent one. Many of these implants have benefits for patients while some, in addition to doing some good, also can do great harm. The Cook IVC filter may be a medical implant that not only may do you no good but can also do great harm, according to a recent study published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery.

What is a Cook IVC filter?

The Cook IVC filter is a wire device that looks like a cone shaped net. It is manufactured by Cook Group, Inc. The IVC filters are surgically inserted into a major vein, the inferior vena cava (IVC), of a patient who is at risk for a pulmonary embolism (or PE, a blood clot that passes into a lung, which can be fatal). The filter is supposed to trap or break up blood clots coming from the lower or middle part of the body. On first look it appears to be a great idea. But many medical emergencies have resulted from implantation of these IVC filters.

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by those injured by Cook IVC filters and by the families of people who died because of them. The filters are often in patients too long; they can break up (with pieces going into the heart or lungs) or the entire filter can be pushed up near or into the heart, causing death or injuries.

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IVC FilterApproximately 250,000 people have an IVC filter implanted each year. Each time it captures a blood clot and prevents it from moving into the heart or lungs, it is a great thing. Unfortunately, IVC filters often cause other health problems, sometimes as serious as the conditions they were designed to prevent. I wrote about the problems the IVC filter is causing many patients here.

Two corporations manufacture most of the IVC filters on the market: C.R. Bard, Inc. and Cook Medical, Inc. Lawsuits have been filed over Bard’s Recovery, G2, and G2 Express IVC filters. Lawsuits have also been filed over Cook’s Gunther Tulip and Celect IVC filters. Hundreds of people have been injured by these IVC filters. Try not to be one of them.

If you have an IVC filter implanted in your body, you must stay on high alert. I suggest taking the following actions if you have an IVC filter implant:

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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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