Bellwether Trial in IVC Filter Lawsuits

IVC Filter Case Reaches Trial

A bellwether trial on October 23, 2017 will structure arguments for future matters pertaining to faulty IVC filter devices. This case is relevant for victims of faulty IVC filters because it will determine whether the manufacturer was negligent in selling and producing a product that has allegedly caused a number of injuries and fatalities.

Photo by wildpixel/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by wildpixel/iStock / Getty Images

IVC Filter Product May Have Caused Organ Perforations

The Plaintiff, Elizabeth Jane Hill, had her physician implant the IVC filter prior to a back surgery. The device migrated and perforated her small intestine, leading to further complications.

The upcoming case will focus on an alleged faulty Cook Celect IVC filter. In this particular case, the Plaintiff alleges the Cook Defendants were responsible for the design and development of the product, therefore, they should be held accountable for their dangerous design flaws. The Plaintiff, Elizabeth Jane Hill, had her physician implant the IVC filter prior to a back surgery. The device migrated and perforated her small intestine, leading to further complications. It appears that the jury will consider this evidence of the Cook Celect IVC filter having design flaws in the upcoming trial. The judge will observe the Consumer Expectation Test and the Risk/Utility Test to determine whether the device was negligent to the consumer and if manufacturers can truly be held accountable for alleged faulty devices. These tests are designed to prove that the device is defective and that it did not perform to the expectations of the consumer. It also questions whether the defendant, Cook, has produced a product where the risk of danger outweighs the benefits of the product.

More About IVC Filters and Their Risks

Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava, also known as IVC filters, are designed for pre-operative patients that develop life threatening blood clots and especially for those who cannot take blood thinning medication. The IVC filter works like a strainer in the body, which filters the blood clots and prevents blockage in the internal organs, such as the heart and lungs. Although it may seem like a promising design, there have been reports of device malfunction.

IVC Filter Lawsuits

As the forerunner in IVC filter trials, this Cook Celect trial will set the bar for future suits. If the judge honors the evidence as faulty, many brands with alleged faulty retrievable devices could be in danger. IVC filters are designed to prevent blood clots and have had much success in doing so. The complications that follow are not merely side effects of the device, but are due to flaws in the design.The problem is that parts of the filter fracture inside of the vein and migrate to the rest of the body, puncturing and perforating internal organs along the way. There have also been some cases where this temporary device has been coated in body fluids, preventing a physician from removing it. Although it is rare, the filter fracture has caused injury and further complications for patients. For some recipients of the filter,it is possible that this may have been a fatal design flaw.

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