The lawsuit was filed by Paula S., a woman who was implanted with the C.R. Bard Eclipse® Vena Cava Filter on July 12, 2010 at a hospital in Illinois.
The plaintiff was one of the first people to be implanted with Eclipse, a 4th-generation Bard retrievable filter approved in June 2010. Soon after it hit the market, there were several reports of filter fractures.
The reports were concerning because older generations of Bard retrievable filters were also associated with high rates of fracture, migration, and embolization of broken fragments in the bloodstream.
Bard quickly tried to fix the problem by modifying the design of the Eclipse. In August 2011, a 5th-generation retrievable filter called the Meridian was approved with a more highly-polished finish to improve fracture-resistance and six additional “barbs” to reduce migration.
Despite significant design changes, Bard did not change the materials or manufacturing process for the Meridian — and not surprisingly, it was also linked to fractures, with 38 incidents reported in 2013 alone.
The fractures suggest an ongoing design flaw. Bard may have actually fixed the problem in June 2013 with a 6th-generation retrievable filter called the Denali, manufactured with completely new materials and single-piece laser-cutting technology.
Denali is the only Bard retrievable filter still on the market. All previous generations — Recovery, G2, G2 X, Eclipse, and Meridian — were only sold for a couple years before being pulled off the market without recalls and replaced with “new” filters with highly-similar designs.
Investigators with NBC News found 27 deaths and over 300 injuries associated with Recovery, a 1st-generation Bard retrievable filter on which all future generations were based. Lawyers say Bard knew (or should have known) the implants were dangerous.
Bard is accused of negligence for selling defective medical devices, failing to warn about potential health hazards, inadequately testing the devices for safety, and downplaying long-term side effects.
The lawsuit was filed on February 6, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona — Case No. 2:17-cv-00372.
It will be centralized with over 1,360 other IVC filter lawsuits now pending against C.R. Bard in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2641) — In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation.
The plaintiff is represented by Ben C. Martin of The Law Offices of Ben C. Martin in Dallas, Texas. He serves on the plaintiffs’ steering committee of the Bard IVC Filter MDL.