The lawsuit was filed by David T., a man who was implanted with the C.R. Bard Recovery® and then a Meridian® filter in a vein called the inferior vena cava (IVC) on April 22, 2014 at a hospital in Washington.
Bard no longer manufactures or sells Meridian or Recovery IVC filters. They were sold for a just a few years before being pulled off the market without recalls and replaced by newer versions.
Meridian is very similar to the Recovery and another filter called the G2. The biggest change is a more highly-polished surface, which is why the FDA allowed it on the market without requiring new safety studies.
The problem is that Meridian has been associated with many of the same safety hazards as the Recovery and G2 — high rates of fracture, with embolization of broken pieces in the bloodstream.
In 2012, a study of 363 patients estimated that 40% of Recovery filters would fracture within 5.5 years. In 2014, a study of the G2 estimated that 38% would fracture within 5 years.
Bard IVC filters have 12 needle-like metal legs called “struts” that anchor the filter in the vein and trap blood clots. Fractures occur when struts break off — usually because the metal wears out after years of natural flexing movements inside the vein as it pulsates with blood.
Embolization occurs when the broken struts travel in the bloodstream. It is one of the most significant hazards that studies have associated with Meridian and other Bard IVC filters. In some cases, fractured components migrate into vital organs and damage the heart or lungs.
C.R. Bard is accused of selling defective medical devices and failing to warn about side effects. One important piece of evidence is an internal study by Dr. John Lehmann that found high rates of fracture and migration associated with the Recovery in 2004.
Meridian was introduced in 2011 with a similar design as the Recovery. Lawyers say C.R. Bard knew — or should have known — that it might have similar risks, but sold it without adequately testing it for safety.
The lawsuit was filed on January 17, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona — Case No. 2:17-cv-00135.
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.