IVC Filter Lawsuits - The Basics

Recently, you may have heard of IVC filter lawsuits in the news or read something about these lawsuits online. This blog provides some of the basic information about these devices and lawsuits.

What is an IVC Filter?

An IVC filter (inferior vena cava filter) is a device that surgeons implant in the veins of patients during a surgical procedure to prevent blood clots from entering into a patient’s lungs. Inside the human body there is a large vein - the inferior vena cava in the middle of the abdomen. Some patients have a particular risk of developing a blood clot such as those diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. The IVC filter device is an alternative to blood thinning medication. An IVC filter has the appearance similar to a coat hanger.

How is an IVC Filter Surgically Implanted?

An IVC filter is usually placed through a large vein in a person’s neck. Alternatively it can be placed through a person’s groin. A surgeon implants a delivery catheter and uses contrast (x-ray dye) to pinpoint the location where the IVC filter goes.

What are the Reported Problems with IVC Filters?

The FDA has received many adverse event reports about IVC filters. These adverse events state that patients have experienced punctured organs, blood vessels, and filter migration to different parts of the body. In 2010, the FDA released a warning about IVC filters stating that these devices have various risks and should be removed as soon as the risk of blood clot subsides. In catastrophic injury cases, the IVC filter can break loose and migrate throughout the body causing serious injuries and/or death.

Who Manufactures the IVC Filters?

IVC filters are made by C.R. Bard and Cook Group Inc. There are three brands in particular that have been the subject of various lawsuits: the Bard Recovery filter, the Bard G2 filter, and the Bard G2 Express filter. Where Have Lawsuits Been Filed? Various plaintiffs have filed in California and Pennsylvania state courts. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated lawsuits in an MDL located in the Southern District of Indiana. There are other pending lawsuits throughout the country.

Where Have Lawsuits Been Filed?

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated lawsuits in an MDL located in the District of Arizona. There are other pending lawsuits throughout the country.

Categories: Medical Devices