The lawsuit was filed by LaToya B., a woman from Texas who was implanted with the Cook Günther Tulip® Vena Cava Filter on March 12, 2007 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.
Her lawyers accuse Cook Medical of negligence for selling a defective medical device and failing to warn about life-threatening health risks.
Günther Tulip is one of the oldest filters that is still on the market. It has 12 needle-like wire legs that are shaped into four “petals” that anchor it inside a vein called the inferior vena cava (IVC).
IVC filters catch blood clots traveling in the bloodstream before they get to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
Blood clots commonly cause injury or death to patients who are immobilized in a hospital bed, especially patients who can’t take blood-thinning drugs because they have wounds or need surgery.
The problem is that IVC filters themselves pose major health risks like vein perforations, filter fractures or migrations, organ damage, and even blood clots — the same injury the filter is supposed to prevent.
For example, trauma patients had an 83% increased risk of blood clots, but were no more likely to survive, according to a study of prophylactic IVC filter placement in 2015.
The risks increase the longer an IVC filter is implanted, and it doesn’t take long. It only took 71 days for “some degree” of perforation to develop in a study of 23 patients with the Günther Tulip.
In 2013, another study found that 43% of Günther Tulip IVC filters completely punctured through the patient’s vein within 14 months.
U.S. District Judge Richard Young has scheduled three trials in the Cook IVC filter litigation starting in October 2017. The second trial will involve a man who was implanted with a Günther Tulip that perforated his vein. The filter remains in his body because it could not be removed.
The lawsuit was filed on January 12, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-00128.
It will be centralized with over 1,370 other IVC filter lawsuits now 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.