In a September 11 order, Arizona Judge David G. Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona refused to grant class certification to recipients of C.R. Bard inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, finding that the claims fail to satisfy Rule 23(b) requirements. The Judge also found that the claims lacked cohesiveness because the class members have different filters, were implanted at different times, and contained different warnings from the defendants.
What are IVC Filters?
The IVC (inferior vena cava) filter is a medical device used to catch blood clots and stop them from causing a pulmonary embolism, which could result in permanent lung damage or death. Retrievable IVC filters, such as C.R. Bard’s Recovery and G2 IVC filters, are intended for removal once the threat of pulmonary embolism has passed.
Studies have shown that IVC filters may cause more harm than good a majority of the time, requiring patients to recover from serious injuries or undergo invasive corrective procedures. In 2015, a group of French researchers followed 400 patients for eight years and found no difference in the mortality rates between those who received IVC filters and those who were treated with an anticoagulant medication. Even worse, patients who were implanted with an IVC filter were more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a dangerous blood clot that begins in the legs.
IVC Filter Lawsuits
More than 5,000 IVC filter lawsuits are pending in federal courts in Arizona and Indiana, filed against the two largest manufacturers, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, by plaintiffs who allege that they suffered serious complications due to implantation of the filters, including:
- Filter migration
- Filter fracture
- Vein perforation
- Filter tilting
The lawsuits also claim that the IVC filter manufacturers failed to disclose these risks or take action to improve the devices after becoming aware that patients were being injured.