August 18, 2015 — About two dozen lawsuits involving IVC filters made by C.R. Bard have been centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2641) in federal court in Arizona under the Honorable David G. Campbell.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order (PDF) transferring 22 lawsuits into the consolidated litigation on August 17.
“All actions involve common factual questions arising from allegations that defects in the design of Bard’s retrievable inferior vena cava filters (“IVC filters”) make them more likely to fracture, migrate, tilt, or perforate the inferior vena cava, causing injury.”
Centralization of the lawsuits will help improve efficiency and convenience, reduce costs, and avoid conflicting pre-trial rulings in different courts.
Plaintiffs also say they want to reopen discovery to seek information related to a recent warning letter issued to Bard by the FDA. Investigators found about a half-dozen instances in which serious injuries and deaths were misclassified as “malfunctions.”
The JPML has already centralized similar lawsuits involving IVC filters made by Cook Medical. As of August 17, there were 117 lawsuits pending in a consolidated litigation in the Southern District of Indiana (MDL No. 2570).
IVC filters are small, cage-like wire devices that are implanted in a patient’s vena cava to catch blood clots. In 2010, the FDA warned about nearly 1,000 reports of complications from retrievable filters that were not removed when they were no longer necessary.
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