The lawsuit was filed by Jennifer W., a woman in Ohio who was surgically implanted with the Günther Tulip® Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) manufactured by Cook Medical, LLC.
The IVC filter was implanted on May 30, 2007 at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio. The purpose was to prevent a pulmonary embolism, which is a complication of blood clots in the lungs.
The filter was implanted in her inferior vena cava (IVC), a vein that carries blood straight to the heart. One of the most serious risks is that a piece of the filter will break off and travel in the bloodstream to the heart.
For example, in a case report from 2009, a 56 year-old woman with a Gunther Tulip developed a severe irregular heart rhythm when one of the filter’s needle-like wire legs broke off and punctured her heart.
She developed cardiac tamponade, a life-threatening complication of blood or fluid filling up the sac surrounding the heart muscle. The pressure prevents the heart from expanding fully and reduces blood-flow to the body.
Cardiac tamponade can cause severe chest pain that gets worse when breathing or coughing, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, heart palpitations, bleeding, shock, and death.
The lawsuit was filed against Cook Incorporated, Cook Medical LLC, and William Cook Europe ApS.
The defendants are charged with negligent manufacture of a defective product, breach of duty to warn, negligent product design, breach of implied and express warranties, and more.
Lawyers allege that Cook Medical knew or should have known that the Gunther Tulip was defective, and that Cook Medical failed to disclose complications and adverse events arising from use of the IVC filter.
The lawsuit was filed on April 7, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-01113.
Cook Medical is facing around 1,500 other IVC filter lawsuits in a centralized federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2570) — In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.
The plaintiff is represented by 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.