IVC Filter Lawsuit for Pulmonary Embolism & Complications
IVC filters were designed for patients as an alternative to blood thinners to treat blood clots. They work by trapping the clot before they can enter the lungs or heart. Unfortunately, like many other medical devices that are rushed to market, these devices have harmed many patients they were meant to help.
IVC filter manufacturers that make and sell harmful products must provide financial compensation to anyone injured due to their use.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent clients injured due to medical device design flaws and are ready to assist you with any questions about your device or legal rights.
We can also inform you about pending IVC filter complication lawsuits involving various IVC filter makers, including Cook Medical and C.R. Bard IVC filters. Contact our defective medical devices attorneys at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review.
How IVC Blood Clot Filters Work
Untreated blood clots are dangerous because when they move into the lungs, heart, or brain, they can cause serious injuries, including stroke, deep vein thrombosis, heart failure, and pulmonary embolism.
An IVC filter is inserted into the body via the inferior vena cava and acts as a net designed to capture any clots before they can do serious harm.
Once clots are caught in these devices, they break up and disappear over time. They were marketed as a suitable alternative to blood-thinning medications and patients who developed clots regardless of any other preventative measure or treatment.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is committed to holding IVC filter makers accountable when their defective devices cause severe injury or death. Our experienced IVC filter lawyers can assist you with your legal claim via a product liability lawsuit against the device manufacturer or joining a pending class action or multidistrict litigation case.
IVC Blood Clot Filters: FDA Approval
Inferior vena cava filters have been proven to prevent recurrent pulmonary embolism (PE) in individuals with unsuccessful anticoagulant therapies.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has cleared various types of IVC filters to treat recurrent pulmonary embolism under specific circumstances, including:
- When treating the patient's condition with anticoagulants could be harmful
- When previous anticoagulant therapies failed
- When the benefits of conventional therapy are not as good as emergency massive pulmonary embolism (PE) or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) treatment
- When anticoagulant therapies have proven unsuccessful or harmful when treating chronic recurrent pulmonary embolism
Typically, surgeons install IVC filters to prevent PE, but only in patients with a PE history. The FDA has yet to approve any off-label use of IVC filters.
Even so, data show that nearly half of all IVC filter implantation surgical procedures involve off-label use of inferior vena cava filters that have caused significant medical problems.
In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a formal warning that the length of time the implanted filter remains in place could cause severe complications citing Centers for Devices and Radiological Health research studies.
The study showed that once the risk of developing a PE is over, the risk of keeping the device in place for up to two months could significantly outweigh any benefit of allowing it to remain in place.
The research indicates that the filter should be removed in people with a diminished risk of developing PE.
C.R. Bard and Other Retrievable IVC Filters
Medical device companies manufactured two categories of IVC (inferior vena cava) filters: permanent and retrievable. The design of the permanent filters allows them to remain in place indefinitely.
Alternatively, a retrievable IVC filter is designed for temporary use where the surgeon will remove the device when no longer necessary or medically advised.
In some cases, the FDA cleared retrievable filters to be used permanently as a viable option under specific circumstances.
Permanent inferior vena cava IVC filter devices include:
- Bard Meridian IVC Filter
- Boston Scientific Titanium Greenfield Vena Cava filter (1989)
- Braun Vena Tech LGM filter (1989)
- Bard Recovery IVC Filter (2001)
- Braun Vena Tech LP filter (2001)
- Cook Medical Bird's Nest filter (1982)
- Cook Medical Celect filter
- Bard Simon Nitinol filter (1990)
- Bard Eclipse IVC Filter
- Cordis TrapEase filter (2000)
- Optease permanent filter (2002)
- Option Elite IVC Filters
Retrievable inferior vena cava devices include:
- ALN IVC filter (2012)
- Bard's IVC filters, including Denali (2013), Bard IVC Eclipse (2010), G2 (2005), Bard IVC G2 Express & G2X (2008), Bard IVC Meridian (2011), and Bard IVC Recovery (2002)
- Cook Medical IVC filters, including Cook Celect (2007) and Guenther Tulip (2003)
- Rex Medical IVC filters, including Option (2009) and Option Delete (2013)
- Optease retrievable filter (2004)
Braun Tempfilter I Temporary Inferior Vena Cava Filter Fatal Cases
Even though the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) cleared many temporary IV filters for permanent placement, surgeons typically use these retrievable and optional devices temporarily. That said, the Braun Tempfilter II does not have clearance to be used as a permanent solution, which has been cleared to be used for up to three months.
The Braun Tempfilter II is a redesign of the temporary Tempfilter I blood clot filter after the FDA suspended the original filter after some devices migrated to the patients' right atrium. Two of those IVC filter cases proved to be fatal.
However, numerous complications involving the Braun Tempfilter II have been reported. In one case, a filter leg was fractured, embedding in the inferior vena cava vein wall. Fortunately, the fractured piece did not migrate to the patient's atrium.
Product Defects Attorneys Explain What Went Wrong with Most IVC Filters
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began fielding adverse event reports in 2005 from hundreds of people claiming adverse health events and fatal injuries, and as more complaints began to surface, the FDA eventually released a warning letter citing all the health risks associated with the devices.
There were concerns over the retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) perforation of organs, damage to major blood vessels, and fracturing of the filter by the filter's movement from its original location to other areas of the body.
This warning resulted in a sea of IVC filter litigation as hundreds of people claimed that the devices' implantation caused them severe injury.
Three popular brands of IVC filters have received the most legal attention, all of which are manufactured by Cook Group and C.R. Bard filter devices. The brands are the Bard Recovery filter, Bard G2 filter, and Bard G2 Express filter.
Plaintiffs in ongoing class-action lawsuits have claimed that C.R Bard failed to properly warn patients about the risks associated with their filters, that the products contained design defects and that Bard made erroneous claims about the products.
Over 900 Reports of Injuries by Patients with IVC Filter Complications
From 2005, when the FDA received its first reports of adverse events, until 2010, over 900 reported injuries could be linked to defective Bard IVC filters. The severe injuries reported include but are not limited to the following.
- The perforation of nearby organs. Organ perforation is the laceration of an organ from the inside and can result in internal bleeding, infection, and other serious IVC filter complications that are dependent on the organ which has been injured.
- Device migration. The purpose of the IVC filter is to remain in place and separate clots from the bloodstream. The filter could detach and travel to another location to embed and cause injuries and internal organ damage.
- Filter fracture. When the filter fractures, tiny pieces move through the blood and eventually embed themselves in tissue, blood vessels, or organs, causing perforations and other IVC filter complications. In one instance, the piece of a fractured filter traveled to the victim's heart, and emergency open-heart surgery was required to repair the laceration.
Our IVC filter lawyers are well-versed in the medical implications a defective device can have. We invite you to speak to an attorney today to discuss your legal options.
IVC Filter Verdicts, Lawsuits, MDL Litigation, & Class Action Lawsuits
In 2018, Bard resolved an IVC filter case after a court ordered the company to pay a female patient $3.6 million. Cook Medical and Bard also agreed to settle numerous IVC filter lawsuit settlements that year. However, the resolved cases involved undisclosed amounts.
By 2019, plaintiffs have filed over 14,000 Cook Medical and Bard IVC filter lawsuits. Over half of the Cook IVC filter cases were filed in the United States district court for the District of Arizona and the remainder in the federal court in the US District Court Southern District of Indiana.
Cook MDL IVC Claims
Months later, a federal panel combined all these cases into Cook MDL (multidistrict) litigation cases to determine the most efficient legal process for handling the high number of IVC filter lawsuits.
Within months, the judicial panel on multidistrict litigation court ordered a bellwether case to help identify these cases' value and determine any potential IVC filter settlements when the cases were returned to their local communities.
Bellwether Cases Involving IVC Filter Recalls
The first two bellwether trials in 2017 and 2018 favored Cook Medical; that one was the first trial, and the second case was dismissed because the judge stated that the plaintiff's statute of limitations had expired.
Cook Medical and Bard have not offered a global settlement agreement. Instead, both companies agreed to settle most claims filed in local courts for undisclosed amounts.
Plaintiff attorneys have not yet filed IVC filter class-action suits in federal court. However, Cook IVC filter devices have been targeted in two class actions filed in Canada.
IVC Filter Lawsuit FAQs
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC understand that many families have unanswered questions about IVC filter settlements and trials. Many of these lawsuits are handled in Multidistrict litigation courts in other states, while some are handled in a local court.
Our IVC filter attorneys have answered some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) below about IVC file settlements and jury verdicts. For additional information, contact an IVC filter lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation.
What is the Average Settlement for IVC Filter?
As of 2021, previous mass tort litigation cases involving inferior vena cava filter verdicts and negotiated settlements have been resolved for approximately $100,000 on the low end, and $750,000 on the high end.
However, there will likely be significantly lower and higher financial compensation payouts in the IVC filter lawsuits ahead.
The amount the IVC filter lawsuit plaintiff receives is based on numerous contributing factors and their current medical condition's unique status. Other factors in resolving IVC filter lawsuits include:
- The magnitude and severity of the injury
- The potential of properly healing
- The extent of the injury that causes permanent or long-term disability
- The patient's economic damages, including hospitalization costs, medical expenses, lost income, and future lost earnings
- Emotional damage, including stress, anxiety, pain, and suffering
- A wrongful death value when surviving family members lose a loved one to filter migration, filter embolization, shattered filter, cava perforation, or pulmonary embolism (PE)
How Long Should an IVC Filter Stay in Place?
The FDA approves many permanent IVC filters for long-term use but recommends removing a device when medically advisable as it no longer provides health benefits due to the potential side effects.
Some Bard IVC filter devices are designed for temporary use to prevent blood clots. These blood clot filters are typically implanted, remaining for a few days, weeks, or up to fifty-four days.
The retrievable Bard filters are used long enough for an acute threat of blood clots to pass or allow the surgeon to find other solutions that can work permanently.
Do IVC Filters Break Up Clots?
Surgeons implant the tiny, wiry filter into the large inferior vena cava to catch blood clots before entering the heart and lungs. The blood clot filter is large enough to capture clots but small enough to allow blood to flow through the filter.
The surgeon implants the IVC filter in the neck or groin through a small incision into a vein. Once in place, the blood clot filter device expands, attaching itself to the inferior vena cava wall temporarily or permanently, based on its design.
Are There Any Risks to IVC Filter Placement?
Every surgical procedure, including IVC filter placement, has inherent risks that could include:
- A developing infection
- An allergic reaction
- Excessive bleeding at the incision
- Blood vessel damage at the catheter insertion site
- IVC filter migration that pierces vital organs, causing severe injury or death
- Blood flow blockage in the IVC, resulting in a swollen leg
- IVC filter migration that pierces the IVC wall and severe pain
- IVC blood clot filter placement problems lead to severe health complications
- Ongoing risks of developing life-threatening clots entering the lungs
The potential risk of a severe side effect is typically based on the severity of the patient's medical condition, overall health, and other contributing factors
Can an IVC Filter Get Clogged?
An IVC filter captures clots to avoid painful leg swelling and possible lung and heart embolism. The medical device is not used to resolve the underlying condition causing the clots to develop but could get clogged when clots are captured.
Typically, the patient's doctor will prescribe anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications to reduce clots potential development. Sometimes, surgeons will retract permanent IVC filters or remove retrievable devices when thinning blood drugs fail to stop blood clotting if the device becomes clogged.
Occasionally, surgeons remove IVC filters after breaking apart, tearing through the vein, or puncturing other organs. The patient can have multiple adverse effects if broken pieces of the device enter into the heart or lungs.
Have Any Retrievable IVC Filters Been Recalled?
The last known IVC filter recall occurred in 2015 when the FDA issued a safety communication recalling over 81,000 Cordis and Bard IVC filter devices. However, injured patients have continued to notify the FDA of IVC filter problems.
Numerous IVC filter lawsuits claim that devices with a design defect that have never been recalled are still injuring and killing patients.
IVC Filter Lawsuits - Personal Injury Lawyers Ready to Assist You
The IVC filter attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC monitor ongoing defective IVC filter lawsuits as they could set the tone for cases in the future.
The latest development in the growing mass tort against the makers of these devices was a settlement in February 2015 in which C.R. Bard came to an out-of-court agreement with the plaintiff only ten days after the commencement of the trial.
Numerous defective product lawsuits are still underway in state and federal courts across the country.
Contact an IVC filter lawyer to learn more about the status of IVC filter cases and for a free consultation of your case, contact us today, and we will evaluate the details of your injury or wrongful death case while going over all of your legal options together to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and medical care.
All our IVC filter lawsuits are handled on a contingency fee basis, where we only charge a legal fee when we successfully obtain a financial recovery for you. Contact our IVC filter lawyers to learn more.