The lawsuit was filed by Scott V., a man who was implanted with the Cook Günther Tulip® Vena Cava Filter on February 4, 2012 at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Günther Tulip has been on the market for decades. Over the years, a number of studies have found high rates of tilting, vein perforation, fractures, and other complications that make the filter impossible to remove.
These complications can develop in just a few months, but the risk increases the longer the filter remains implanted.
In 2009, a study of 50 patients who were implanted with a Tulip for an average of 107 days found that 46% could not be removed, and 15 of those filters were tilted by at least 20º or embedded in the vein.
In 2007, another study of 41 patients who were implanted with the Tulip for at least 180 days found that 24% had to be left in place permanently. All of the filters that could not be retrieved were tilted.
One of the most fundamental flaws with the Tulip is that it has several needle-like metal legs that dig into the vein to anchor the filter in place. The walls of the vein are remarkably thin. It is not uncommon for the legs to puncture through, especially over time.
Perforations through the vein may not cause symptoms immediately, but they often cause the filter to tilt to one side. In severe cases, tilting causes the hook at the top of the filter to dig into the vein as well.
The hook is necessary for a doctor to lasso the filter and pull it out of the vein. Embedded hooks often make the filter impossible to remove.
Cook Medical is accused of downplaying the risk of these complications, failing to warn about side effects, and inadequately testing the Tulip for safety.
The lawsuit was filed on January 26, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis Division) — Case No. 1:17-cv-00266.
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.