The lawsuit was filed by Barbara S., a woman from Texas who was injured by the Celect® Inferior Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) manufactured by Cook Medical Inc.
The IVC Filter was surgically implanted on June 26, 2009 at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, TX by Dr. Bruce Baker.
The purpose of the IVC Filter was to catch blood clots traveling in the bloodstream to prevent a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE).
Trauma and surgery patients have a high risk of VTE because they are immobilized for prolonged periods of time during recovery. Poor circulation in the legs increases the risk of blood clots in the lungs.
VTE is one of the most challenging complications for doctors to manage, which is why IVC filters are so attractive. Doctors can implant an IVC filter in the vein to catch the blood clot before it hits the lungs.
Unfortunately, studies show that trauma patients who were implanted with IVC filters are actually no more likely to survive — and far more likely to suffer long-term IVC filter side effects because under 10% are ever removed from trauma patients.
Trauma patients do not usually choose to receive an IVC Filter. The decision is normally made by their doctor. However, very few hospitals follow up to remove the filter, which is why retrieval rates are so low.
Another problem is that the Celect® IVC Filter has been linked to one of the highest rates of vein perforation of any filter on the market. For example, one study of 99 patients found that 43% of Celect IVC Filter perforated the patient’s vein within 2 months. This complication can make the filter impossible to remove.
Cook Medical is accused of downplaying these side effects and aggressively promoting the Celect® IVC Filter without adequate warnings about the long-term consequences of failing to retrieve it.
The lawsuit was filed on June 20, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No.1:17-cv-02120-TWP-TAB.
There are now approximately 2,000 other IVC filter lawsuits pending against Cook Medical 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.