IVC Claims: Important Things You Must Know

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IVC Claims: Important Things You Must Know

The Inferior vena cava filter, widely known as the IVC filter, is a small metal device. It has the function of trapping large blood clots and preventing them from going to the heart or lungs. However, many people are experiencing issues and even filing for IVC claims due to the complications it brings. Follow this article for more info.

What are IVC Filters?

The inferior vena cava inside your body is the major vein that carries oxygen-depleted blood from the lower part of the body back to the heart. When an IVC filter is inside your body, the blood can still pass through while stopping a blood clot from going to the heart or lungs.

The old version of the filter is made from titanium and stainless steel, while the creation of newer and retrievable ones uses a variety of high-tech alloys. The small metal device protects you from having a pulmonary embolism.

It is a condition where a blood clot sticks and completely blocks a blood vessel in your lung. The blocking can cause damage to the lungs, decrease oxygen levels in your blood, and even sudden death.

About IVC Filter Lawsuit

Unfortunately, people are still experiencing complications and filing for IVC claims because the devices have defective parts. The victims claim that the defects make the IVC filter more likely to fracture or perforate a vein after it migrates to other parts of the body.

Some filters are even impossible to remove and cause damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs. According to Drugwatch, there are 7,857 pending cases against Cook Medical in multidistrict litigation as of December 15, 2023. Individual lawsuits against other IVC filter manufacturers exist and are still in progress.

IVC Filter Cases Timeline

Below is the simplified timeline involving IVC claims in the United States:

  • 2005: The FDA recalled one of the IVC filter manufacturers, Boston Scientific.
  • 2010: Following reports of complications by the public, the FDA broadcasts an announcement about IVC filters.
  • 2012: People file for first class-action lawsuits against medical manufacturer C.R. Bard. There are also cases filed against Cook Medical.
  • 2014: Many cases consolidated into a multidistrict lawsuit (MDL) against Cook Medical. Following this, the FDA updates its announcement by advising the immediate removal of IVC filters when no longer needed.
  • 2013-2015: C.R. Bard settles cases of migrating IVC filters that cause patient heart and lung injuries.
  • 2015: News reports show the involvement of C.R. Bard devices, causing severe health complications and 27 deaths.
  • 2018: The court ordered the settlement amount of $3.6 million toward a plaintiff to be paid by C.R. Bard in the first bellwether trial.
  • February 2019: In a case against Cook Medical, a jury awarded $3 million to plaintiff Tonya Brand.
  • May 2019: C.R. Bard reached a confidential settlement agreement with 8,000 plaintiffs.
  • January 2020: The $3 million judgment against Cook Medical is vacated by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The court stated that the plaintiff, Tonya Brand, didn’t have enough evidence.
  • May 2023: C.R. Cook settled some cases in the MDL for confidential amounts, but the remaining thousands are still pending.
  • June 2023: The schedule for the pretrial conference in the MDL against Cook Medical is for August 2023.
  • December 2023: Some lawyers are still taking in individual lawsuits, and plaintiffs continue to file new claims against Cook Medical in the MDL.

IVC Filter Injuries and Complications

Each person may be affected differently by defective IVC filters. Here is a reference of some injuries and complications from previous cases to file for eligible IVC claims.

  • IVC filter fractures and breaks after being inserted into the blood vessels. The pieces then roam inside the victim’s bloodstream and clog blood vessels or other organs.
  • The migration of the IVC filter may occur when it moves from the original position inserted during the surgery. This complication can likely cause damage or blockage to the heart or lungs. Due to this, the victims may experience abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Infection can happen when the IVC filter is left unattended inside the victim because of the retrieval problem. If neglected for too long, it can lead to fatal consequences.
  • Complications may arise due to the difficulty of removing the device. It can lead to additional injuries or health risks when surgeons attempt to extract the IVC filter from patients.
  • Organ or vein perforation caused by the IVC filter’s puncture can lead to severe complications and injuries to blood vessels or nearby organs.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is an injury due to the increased risk of developing blood clots inside the lower body’s veins caused by the defective IVC filter.
  • The victims may experience chronic and long-term pain alongside discomfort because of the implanted IVC filter.

Manufacturers and Models Involved in Lawsuits

There are several manufacturers and their models named in many IVC claims. Here is a table to easily classify them.

ManufacturersModels Involved in Lawsuits
ArgonOptional Elite
C.R. BardDenali, Eclipse, G2, G2 Express (G2X), Meridian, Recovery
Boston ScientificGreenfield
Cook MedicalCelect, Gunther Tulip
CordisTrapEase, OptEase

Through available findings, plaintiffs allege at least one IVC filter model from either ALN, Argon, or Boston Scientific to be defective. However, neither of these manufacturers–including ALN, Argon, Boston Scientific, and Cordis–are part of an IVC filter MDL as of May 2023.

How to File for IVC Claims?

If you believe that you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the IVC filter, consider following these steps to prepare yourself for a successful claim. Moreover, your immediate actions to file for legal claims can be crucial because strict time limits are applied. Here are the steps to follow: 

  • Preserve strong evidence by gathering and organizing copies of medical records, treatments, and any expenses related to the injury.
  • Keep a journal of your complications to document the symptoms and how they affect your everyday life.
  • Contact and consult with an attorney experienced in cases involving defective medical devices. You can get advice regarding your legal options and assistance in filing a lawsuit.

Have You Understood the Essential Information about IVC Claims?

Filing for any kind of lawsuit, including IVC claims, can take a toll on your body and mental health. Therefore, having an experienced lawyer can ease the burden so you can focus on recovery first and foremost. Remind yourself to prepare anything before claiming the case. Then, you can get the best coverage for your compensation. 

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