For those at risk of blood clots, inferior vena cava (IVC) filters can offer a way to prevent clots in the legs from traveling to the heart or lungs. However, there are also issues with the filters that may cause serious health complications and even death. There is currently multidistrict litigation (MDL) pending against multiple IVC manufacturers alleging the filters break, migrate, puncture veins, and are difficult to remove despite following all recommendations.
If you or a loved one suffered serious health complications or passed away because of an IVC filter or similar device, you may be eligible to join ongoing mass torts against the manufacturer of your filter. Call an IVC filter lawsuit lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. at 631-600-0000 today. We offer complimentary consultations, and can help you understand if you qualify to file a claim to cover the damages you suffered because of this device.
How Do IVC Filters Cause Health Complications for Patients?
IVC filters are tiny filters with legs made of thin wire. While they do snare clots as designed, they also break easily. Broken legs or other pieces of the device can travel through the bloodstream and imbed themselves into organs, penetrate the vein, or cause other issues. In some cases, the entire filter can migrate to another area of the body. This can lead to permanent damage to internal organs and even death.
The complications caused by these IVC filters can cause just as much harm as the blood clots manufacturers designed them to stop. Like a blood clot, a filter or piece of a filter can also travel to the heart and lungs and cause major health issues or even death.
Once the risks of these filters became apparent, manufacturers designed the next generation of IVC filters to be temporary, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now recommends removing them within a few weeks of implantation.
However, this is not always possible. These filters are often incredibly difficult to remove, and when this occurs patients will need to remain on blood-thinning medications for the rest of their life to reduce the risk of complications from the device or broken fragments of the filter.
Blood-thinning medications have dangers of their own, and may limit the activities of these IVC filter victims. Blood thinners can lead to internal bleeding, and cause serious hemorrhaging even with minor injuries.
Have Studies Proven the Dangers of IVC Filters?
Several studies support the claims outlined in the IVC filter lawsuits. Between 2005 and 2010, hundreds of doctors and patients reported complications from IVC filters. This included:
- 328 complaints of device migration
- 146 complaints of detached filter components
- 70 complaints of filters perforating the IVC
- 56 complaints of fractured filters
These reports of adverse events prompted the FDA to issue a warning to one manufacturer of these filters. In response, some manufacturers began to promote filters designed to remain in the patient only a few months before removal.
According to the FDA, the risk of complications increases the longer these filters remain in place. For that reason, the FDA issued a recommendation to remove temporary IVC filters between 29 and 54 days after placement.
However, there have also been issues with these filters. One study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology found that 43 percent of one brand of temporary filter perforated the vein within this time period.
What Is the Status of IVC Filter Lawsuits?
As of October 2017, there are more than 1,500 lawsuits pending against IVC filter manufacturers. This count only includes those consolidated into multidistrict litigation. Many other victims continue to file their own lawsuits, and the courts may add them to MDLs as time goes on. Currently, the bellwether trial for the MDL against Cook Medical began on October 23. 2017.
The MDL process consolidates all similar cases for the evidence collection and discovery steps, and then chooses several claims to serve as bellwether cases. While the outcome of these trials does not directly affect other plaintiffs, it will likely urge IVC filter manufacturers to offer settlements or inform the judges who have jurisdiction over the remaining cases.
At this time, the two major manufacturers named in these MDLs and lawsuits include C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. However, many other companies have claims levied against them, as well. This includes Cordis Corporation and Boston Scientific. If you suffered complications after an IVC filter implantation procedure or your doctor could not fully remove the device, you are likely eligible to file a claim for compensation no matter who manufactured the filter.
We offer free case reviews for people who believe they may have a viable claim based on IVC filter complications. When we discuss your health history and the adverse health event you suffered because of the IVC filter, we can evaluate your eligibility to file a lawsuit. We can help you determine the value of the damages you suffered, and file litigation to recover this money.
How Can I Talk About My Case with an IVC Filter Lawsuit Lawyer?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our knowledgeable IVC filter lawsuit attorneys are ready to take your call. Our complimentary case evaluations offer a chance to understand your legal options for compensation, and our resources and skills can help you recover the full payout you deserve based on the facts of your case. Call our office today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a time to discuss your injuries and a potential claim for compensation.