The lawsuit was filed by Thomas B. Jr., a man from Pennsylvania 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 December 26, 2005 by Dr. Neil Kaneshiki at UPMC Altoona Regional Hospital in Pennsylvania for the purpose of preventing pulmonary embolisms.
A pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage is usually caused by a blood clot that has traveled from a vein in the leg through the bloodstream to the lungs.
IVC Filters help prevent pulmonary embolisms by catching blood clots as they travel through the inferior vena cava, which is a major vein that carries blood from the legs to the lungs to receive oxygen.
Unfortunately, implanting an IVC Filter in the inferior vena cava is extremely risky. If pieces of the filter break off, they will travel in the bloodstream like a missile straight to the patient’s heart or lungs. This can result in life-threatening cardiovascular injuries or sudden death.
The inferior vena cava is constantly pulsating, flexing with blood pressure and breathing. IVC Filters have sharp metal legs that are designed to anchor the filter inside the vein — but over time, the legs can dig into the vein and get stuck, making the filter impossible to remove. IVC Filters also commonly puncture the vein and into organs.
In recent years, several studies of the Günther Tulip IVC Filter have discovered high rates of tilting and vein perforation. For example, one study in 2013 found that 43% of patients with a Günther Tulip IVC Filter developed a vein perforation within 437 days.
Lawyers accuse Cook Medical of selling a defective medical device, inadequately studying it for safety, and failing to warn patients or healthcare providers about the risk of life-threatening side effects.
The lawsuit was filed on July 21, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-02463-JMS-DML.
It will be centralized with approximately 2,350 other IVC filter lawsuits that are currently pending in 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 attorneys Ben C. Martin and Thomas Wm. Arbon of The Law Offices of Ben C. Martin in Dallas, Texas.
Ben C. Martin is a trial attorney who serves as the plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel in the Cook IVC Filter MDL.