The lawsuit was filed by Andrew S., a man from California who was injured by the Günther Tulip® Inferior Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) manufactured by Cook Medical.
The IVC filter was surgically implanted in his body on August 19, 2011 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles, California by Dr. Alfonso Urdaneta and Dr. Tina Hardley.
The Günther Tulip is one of the oldest IVC filters on the market. It was first sold in Europe in the 1990s. It was approved in the United States for permanent use in 2000 and for retrievable use in 2003.
Safety concerns with the Günther Tulip are nothing new, especially regarding tilting and puncturing the vein. One study in 2008 found that 91% were tilted during retrieval attempts.
In 2012, another study observed vein perforations in 43 out of 50 (86%) patients with the Günther Tulip or Celect® IVC filters. The study showed that after 71 days, all of the filters had “some degree of vena caval perforation, often as a progressive process.” The researchers recommended:
We advocate filter retrieval as early as clinically indicated and increased attention to the appearance of IVC filters on all follow-up imaging studies.”
These complications often do not cause any symptoms, especially early on, but they can make it impossible to remove the filter. The risk of complications increases the longer the filter is in the body.
Without any symptoms, patients may delay scheduling a retrieval procedure until it is too late. Patients may falsely believe the IVC filter gives them lifelong protection against blood clots. In reality, IVC filters actually increase the long-term risk of developing blood clots, also known as IVC thrombosis.
Lawyers accuse Cook Inc., Cook Medical LLC, and William Cook Europe of negligence for selling a defectively-designed medical device, failing to warn about side effects, and breach of warranty.
The lawsuit was filed on April 8, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-01120-JMS-DM.
Cook Medical is facing around 1,750 lawsuits nationwide involving people who were injured by the Günther Tulip® or Celect® IVC filters. The cases are centralized in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2570) — In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.
The attorneys for the plaintiff are Ben C. Martin and Thomas Wm. Arbon of The Law Offices of Ben C. Martin.
Ben C. Martin is a trial attorney based in Dallas, Texas who serves as the plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel in the Cook IVC Filter MDL.