U.S. District Judge Richard Young issued an order on July 19, naming three trial plaintiffs and the type of filter that caused their injury:
- Brand v. Cook Medical, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-6018 (Celect)
- Gage v. Cook Medical, Inc. et al., 1:14-cv-1875 (Günther Tulip)
- Hill v. Cook Medical, Inc., et al, 1:14-cv-6016 (Celect)
The lawsuits are centralized in MDL No. 2570. Unlike a class action, all of the cases are independent. While trial outcomes are not binding, they do help lawyers determine settlement values for similar lawsuits.
The first “bellwether” trial will involve Elizabeth H., a woman from Florida who was implanted with a Cook Celect IVC filter in November 2010.
Her doctors tried to remove the filter in March 2011, but all attempts failed. Over the next three years, she developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms — inflammation, diarrhea, fatigue, and vomiting.
During a colonoscopy, doctors discovered the Celect IVC filter embedded in her intestines. She underwent an emergency procedure at another hospital to remove the filter, but was left with permanent narrowing at the site of the excision.
Hundreds of other plaintiffs accuse Cook of downplaying the risk of the Celect. In one recent study, 43% of Celect filters perforated the vena cava within two months.
The FDA now recommends removing IVC filters within 29 and 54 days after implantation, if possible. The longer they remain implanted, the higher the risk of complications like filter fracture, migration, perforation, organ damage, and even death.