The C.R. Bard blood clot filter lawsuit bellwether trials are finally underway. Currently, drug giant C.R. Bard faces over 3,000 blood clot filter lawsuits in the United States District Court in the District of Arizona. All lawsuits consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) should bring closure for injured victims soon.
Bard Blood Clot Filter Lawsuit Trial Dates Set
Five bellwether trial dates are set for the next year. These bellwether trials sample MDL claims that represent most class members. The first blood clot filter lawsuit trial began on March 13, 2018, and others will follow soon afterward. Setting a date for an MDL this large is a big deal. It can take years for a judge to hear blood clot filter lawsuit claims. Plaintiffs with bills to pay already waited months or years to get the justice they deserve for their injuries. While all 3,000+ lawsuits have unique characteristics, the majority make similar claims. Patients claim C.R. Bard failed to warn them about potentially life-threatening IVC filter complication risks.
IVC Filter Implantation Complications
Many health issues can arise after IVC filter implantation. Here are just a few serious complications plaintiffs list among allegations in blood clot filter lawsuit filings:
- Device migration — Doctors implant these devices in the inferior vena cava — but that doesn’t mean they stay there. Devices may also migrate through the bloodstream to other areas of the body. The right ventricle is a common location as well as other areas of the heart.
- IVC filter fracture — Fracturing happens when pieces break off the device and travel through your bloodstream. MedPage Today reports that fracture fragmentation is common. And one Pennsylvania hospital study found a “particularly high risk of fracture… for two popular devices made by Bard.”
- Device perforation — Most perforations affect the inferior vena cava, but the duodenum is also at risk. Most IVC filter complications occur long after the filter implant. But according to a 2016 article, a perforation may occur immediately as well. Hooks are part of the filter design to decrease migration risks. Even so, “perforation has consequently increased in incidence.”
- Device tilting — When a filter tilts from its original position, it can be extremely difficult to remove. In fact, tilting is one of the most common reasons why doctors don’t remove these devices.
Blood Clot Filter Lawsuit Allegations
IVC filter complications listed above cause many injuries. But more serious blood clot filter lawsuit allegations against Bard include:
- Complications can lead to serious injuries, many of which can be life-threatening
- Plaintiffs often need help with their medical bills because of the serious risks
- Compensation for pain and suffering, loss of lifestyle and enjoyment, and
- Wrongful death
Some injuries associated with IVC filter complications include:
- Heart attacks
- Pulmonary embolisms
- Torn arteries
- IVC occlusion
- Vena cava stenosis
- Guidewire entrapment
- Internal bleeding
These are just a few possible IVC filter complications. The FDA issued a safety communication after they began receiving thousands of adverse event reports.
Reasons Why Doctors Prescribe IVC Filter Implants
IVC filters entered the market in the 1960s. However, the FDA approved the first retrievable filters in 2003 and 2004. Doctors should only implant filters in patients that don’t respond to blood thinners. Yet recent reports show these devices offer no benefit over anticoagulants.
Reports that assert this data include:
October 2015 — An October 2015 paper indicates using IVC filters in trauma patients provides no survival benefit. Plus, they’re “associated with an increase in DVT events.”
April 2015 — An April 2015 clinical trial evaluated whether IVC filters are more effective for PE than anticoagulants alone. “Among hospitalized patients with severe acute pulmonary embolism, the use of a retrievable inferior vena cava filter plus anticoagulation compared with anticoagulation alone did not reduce the risk of symptomatic recurrent pulmonary embolism. These findings do not support the use of this type of filter in patients who can be treated with anticoagulation.”
April 2013 — An April 2013 study found doctors’ assertions that IVC filters can “catch” a blood clot were never “validated by empirical studies.”
May 2012 — A May 2012 article outlines IVC filter risks: “It appears the vast majority of filters that are placed in patients with a pulmonary embolism may not reduce mortality.” However, it doesn’t conclude IVC filters are totally unnecessary. Rather, it states that doctors implant them more often than is absolutely necessary. “Only a small percentage of patients suffering from a pulmonary embolism are in shock or need of ventilation support.” It asserts only a few patients need an IVC filter, while most benefit from anticoagulation therapy.
Why Do Doctors Implant Blood Clot Filters?
If medical journals repeatedly assert that IVC filters are not safe and/or necessary, why are do doctors implant them so readily? Hospitals and doctors in the United States are over-reliant on implanting IVC filters. Perhaps because they are able to bill patients at a higher rate than they can with anticoagulation therapy. IVC filters are a $200 million business. Medicare pays approximately $3,800 to put one in. It costs another $2,250 to take it out.
Still, devices often remain implanted within patients. A 2010 study looked at 144 patients who received an IVC filter between 2004 and 2008. The study shows only a small percentage of doctors even attempted device removal, despite evidence that removal within 90 days cuts complication risks in half. In addition, doctors often schedule IVC filter retrieval procedures in outpatient-only settings. That’s because doctors can charge patients more for outpatient-based IVC filter retrievals.
What IVC Blood Clot Filter Lawsuit Victims Can Do
With so much evidence against Bard and other faulty device manufacturers, blood clot filter lawsuit filings are on the rise. If you suffered IVC filter complications, you may qualify to join the MDL. This can give you much-needed compensation medical expenses and lost wages. To see in just minutes if you may qualify for a cash settlement, get your IVC filter claim evaluation today. Once you’ve submitted your contact information, an attorney will call to discuss your compensation options.
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.