Thousands of people have experienced severe side effects of IVC filters. In the last year, the number of lawsuits has grown rapidly.
Around 1,500 lawsuits have been filed since August 2015, according to updated statistics released today by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (JPML).
The lawsuits include 654 cases against Cook Medical, manufacturer of the Celect and Günther Tulip IVC filters. Those cases are pending in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2570) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
Another 709 lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard, manufacturer of the Recovery and G2 IVC filters. The cases are centralized in MDL No. 2641 in the U.S. District Court for Arizona under Judge David G. Campbell.
Last month, lawyers in California asked federal judges to centralize another 115 IVC filter lawsuits against Cordis Corporation into a mass-tort.
The MDL process has many of the advantages of a class action, like improving efficiency and avoiding conflicting rulings in different courts. However, unlike a class action, each case remains independent.
All of the lawsuits accuse device-makers of failing to adequately warn patients about severe, life-threatening side effects — especially filter tilt, migration, fracture, and embolization of broken pieces to the heart.
The FDA has issued a number of Safety Warnings and recommends removing IVC filters within 2-3 months. Over 900 adverse events were reported from 2005-2010.
Failing to retrieve the filter significantly increases the risk of complications. The most serious side effects include:
- Perforation of the heart, lung, or other organs
- Punctured vena cava
- Fractured IVC
- Migration or tilted filter
- Broken pieces of the filter traveling in the bloodstream
- Trouble removing the filter
- Heart problems
Source: Pending MDLs by District (PDF)