Baton Rouge IVC Filter Lawyers
Your Legal Rights Concerning Defective IVC Filters
An inferior vena cava filter, or IVC filter, is an implanted device designed to prevent blood clots from reaching a patient’s lungs. Unfortunately, poorly designed and defective IVC filters have caused irreparable harm to thousands of patients. The most common injuries include punctured organs/veins, filter migration from the implant site and the creation of blood clots.
Injured patients and their family members may have the right to money damages through an IVC filter lawsuit. Most IVC product liability claims are being consolidated in federal court dockets specifically designed to address the widespread injuries cause by defective filters. Because there are thousands of IVC filter victims with varying injuries, it is important that you document your harm extensively and pursue legal recourse quickly.
The Dangers Of IVC Filters
The purpose of inferior vena cava filters is to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs, a potentially fatal condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). However, many IVC filter manufacturers did a poor job designing and constructing the devices. One medical study found that 40 percent of implanted IVC filters had moved from their optimal position.
The type of defect and damage caused varies among patients, but the most common IVC injuries and problems include:
- Perforation, or puncture, of organs and blood vessels
- Failure to filter harmful blood clots after the device migrates or tilts
- Harm or death from IVC filter fractures, which send fragments through the bloodstream
- Blood clots, or embolization, caused by the IVC filter
- Lower-limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
IVC filters were designed to be used for only a short time – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listed the ideal implant time as 29 to 54 days – but many devices remain in the patient longer or fail before they can be removed. Further, IVC filter removal is often troublesome and presents its own risks.
The FDA first warned physicians and hospitals about the dangers of inferior vena cava filters in August 2010. The agency said that it had received 921 adverse event reports for IVC filters over approximately five years, including filter migration, fracturing, embolization and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It urged physicians to remove IVC filters as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism subsides, to minimize the likelihood of the devices failing while implanted in patients.
In May 2014, the FDA updated its IVC filter warning to include findings from a medical study published in 2013. The agency cautioned that the ideal time to remove IVC filters – assuming the patient’s risk of pulmonary embolism has passed – is 29 to 54 days after implantation. It urged physicians to also weigh the unique factors involved with each patient. More information about that study is below.
In 2004, medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard hired a litigation consultant to explore the danger of its newly designed IVC filters versus older models. The report, frequently referred to as the Lehmann Report, was created for internal purposes only and accidentally leaked. Its admissibility as evidence in IVC filter product liability lawsuits is highly contentious. At a minimum, the report indicates that C.R. Bard knew its IVC filters presented serious side effects to patients, but did not share that knowledge with patients or the FDA.
In 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined the risks and benefits related to the duration of a patient’s IVC filter implant. After researchers examined available medical records, they found that many physicians were failing to timely remove IVC filters from their patients when the threat of pulmonary embolism had passed.
The scientists reviewed available data to find an ideal time span for IVC filter devices to be removed from patients, concluding that 29 to 54 days after implantation is often optimal. IVC filters have a high failure rate that increases the longer the device stays implanted. Described as a net risk score, research revealed that the risk of adverse events began to increase five to eight weeks after a patient is implanted with an IVC filter.
One limitation of the JAMA study is that it examined all IVC filters as whole when making its recommendations, despite a variety of IVC filter models and manufacturers on the U.S. market. While virtually all IVC filters can cause potential danger to patients, some models have higher rates of adverse events than others.
IVC Filter Models And Manufacturers
The manufacturers and models responsible for most of the IVC filter injuries in the U.S. include:
- Bard G2 filter
- Bard Recovery filter
- Bard G2 Express filter
- Cook Celect
- Gunther Tulip
The specific IVC filter responsible for your health problems may impact where you should file your lawsuit. Learn more in the section below.
IVC Filter Litigation
The number of patients injured by IVC filters is rapidly growing, so U.S. courts are organizing the claims against Cook Medical in a process known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). IVC filter lawsuits against Cook Medical are being consolidated in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana.
Claims against C.R. Bard have not yet been consolidated, but that will likely happen soon. Defendant manufacturers typically favor MDL because it allows them to systematically defend – or settle – the lawsuits in a single court, before a single judge.
In some cases, an injury victim’s claim is not appropriate for consolidating into the MDL docket. An experienced defective medical device lawyer can help you decide what approach is best for your IVC filter lawsuit.
Murphy Law Firm, LLC is representing IVC filter victims and accepting more clients. Our law firm has successfully represented thousands of people with product liability claims involving defective medical devices or pharmaceutical drugs. Our IVC filter lawyers have the experience your claim needs to get you fully compensated.
For a FREE initial consultation with founding attorney Peyton P. Murphy, call 225-928-8800 or 225-928-8802, or contact us online.