The lawsuit was filed by Shakira G., a woman from New Jersey who was surgically implanted with the Option™ ELITE Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) on October 20, 2014 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
The purpose of the filter was to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which blood clots grow inside veins in the legs or pelvis.
On April 25, 2015, she underwent a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis. That was when doctors discovered that the metal legs of the filter (called “struts”) perforated her inferior vena cava.
On May 15, 2015, she had another CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis. Her doctors discovered a pulmonary infarction, which is a complication when a lung artery is blocked and part of the lung dies.
On June 15, 2015, she had a third CT scan of her chest, which revealed a pulmonary embolism in the left lower lobe of her pulmonary arteries. This life-threatening complication occurs when blood clots traveling in the bloodstream get stuck in the lungs.
Her lawyers accuse Rex Medical of failing to conduct sufficient clinical testing, such as animal studies, to determine how the Option IVC filter would function and if it would effectively prevent pulmonary embolisms.
Lawyers say she would not have used the Option IVC Filter if the risks associated with its use had been properly disclosed, as safer alternatives were available. According to the complaint:
The Option™ ELITE Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filter implanted in Plaintiff was defective and unreasonably dangerous. … As a direct result, Plaintiff suffered significant injuries, including but not limited to perforation of the vena cava and pulmonary embolism.”
The lawsuit was filed on March 27, 2017 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas — Case ID: 170302892.
There are now 3,000 other IVC filter lawsuits pending against Rex Medical L.P., Argon Medical Devices Inc., Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, Aesculap Implant Systems, B. Braun Medical Inc., and others.
The plaintiff is represented by attorney Ben C. Martin of The Law Offices of Ben C. Martin in Dallas, Texas; and attorney Stephen A. Sheller of Sheller, P.C., in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.