The lawsuit was filed by Forrest G., a man from Texas who was injured by the Celect® Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) manufactured by Cook Medical Inc.
Dr. Brent C. Morgan surgically implanted a temporary IVC filter in the plaintiff’s vein to prevent pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) on January 22, 2014 at The Medical Center of Plano in Texas.
The Celect® is a 2nd-generation IVC filter that Cook Medical modeled after the Günther Tulip®, an IVC filter that has been sold since the 1990s. Many studies have linked the Tulip to high rates of tilting, which can make retreival impossible.
Cook Medical attempted to fix tilting issues on the Tulip by adding four new legs to the Celect. The needle-like wire legs, also known as “struts,” are designed to anchor the filter in the vein to prevent tilting.
Unfortunately, the addition of four struts to the Celect IVC Filter dramatically increased the risk of vein perforations within the first few months. For example, one study of 99 patients with the Celect found that 43% punctured the vein within just 2 months.
In 2012, another study of 115 patients with the Celect found that 86% punctured the vein, and 24% also punctured nearby organs, kidneys, intestines, or the aorta.
Long before these studies were published, researchers warned that the strut design on the Celect IVC filter was dangerous. A study in 2007 investigated a Celect IVC filter that punctured a patient’s vein in 9 days. The injury was extremely unusual, so researchers compared the Celect to the Tulip. They concluded with the following warning:
The new filter, unlike the older one, has unprotected primary struts. Only filters with an unprotected primary strut design have been associated with penetration injuries such as the one described in this case.”
Cook Medical is charged with negligence for failing to warn about side effects and selling a medical device with dangerous design defects.
The lawsuit was filed on May 30, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-01785-SEB-DML.
The case will be centralized with over 1,900 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 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.