August 1, 2014 — Attorneys for dozens of plaintiffs who were injured by inferior vena cava (IVC) filters manufactured by Cook Medical have filed a motion (PDF) asking federal judges to centralize the litigation into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL).
The motion was filed on July 21 on behalf of plaintiffs in 27 lawsuits in 11 district courts. The sprawling litigation is located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Tennessee, California, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
Attorneys argued for the Southern District of Indiana, where 14 of the 27 lawsuits are already filed. Cook Medical is headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana. Furthermore, attorneys argue that this venue is appropriate because many corporate witnesses and documents are located in this district. It would also help improve efficiency and reduce the risk of conflicting rulings in different district courts.
The lawsuits all make similar allegations involving defective design, misrepresentation in marketing, and failure to warn about side effects. The device is implanted in a patient’s body to catch blood clots before they reach the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
The plaintiffs allege that the Cook failed to warn that their IVC filters cannot sustain normal anatomical and physiological forces in the body. They cite a study published in Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology in April 2012.
Researchers looked at adverse events associated with the Gunther Tulip and Celect IVC filters that were implanted between July 2007 and May 2009. After 71 days, 100% of the filters had some degree of filter perforation of the venal caval wall. This same study reported that tilt was seen in 40% of the implanted filters.
In August 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that they had received over 900 adverse events reports involving retrievable IVC filters that were not removed in patients who were no longer at risk of pulmonary embolism. Since then, a number of lawsuits have been filed, including C.R. Bard, manufacturer of the Recovery and G2 IVC filters.
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