Defense Wins Closely-Watched IVC Filter Trial

Product Liability
Defective IVC Filters

By Lynn Shapiro, Staff Writer

The medical malpractice plaintiffs’ bar remains in full trial preparation mode even after losing its first bellwether, multi-district litigation (MDL) case, claiming Cook Medical LLC’s IVC filters are defective and injured patients in whom they were implanted.

Although the plaintiff Elizabeth Hill was injured, the case Hill v. Cook “centers on the plaintiff’s strict liability defense design defect claim”, James Humann writes in The Legal Examiner.

The IVC filter is implanted in the vein that transports blood to the heart to prevent pulmonary embolisms.

Full Trial Preparation Mode

The next trial against Cook Medical is scheduled for April 2, 2018.

Across the country in Arizona, counsel for the plaintiff and defense are in full trial preparation mode for the first Bard IVC bellwether case, which is scheduled to begin on March 13, 2018 in the U.S. District Court in Arizona,” Humann writes.

The second Bard IVC bellwether trial is set to take place in Arizona on May 15th, 2018.

Hill v. Cook

In Hill v. Cook, Elizabeth Hill claimed that Cook Medical purposely failed to inform doctors that the “Celect” IVC filters it was marketing might not be as easily removed as Cook Medical led physicians to believe, according to Law 360

What’s more, the FDA instructs physicians to remove the devices within 54 days after implantation, making removal necessary as a patient health and safety requirement.

However, in Hill v. Cook, US District Judge Richard L. Young of the Southern District of Indiana, where Cook Medical is located, found the “Celect” IVC was not defective.

Larry Bodine, an attorney and journalist, recounts Ms. Hill’s case in The National Trial Lawyers.

He writes that, “plaintiff Elizabeth Jane Hill of Dunnellon, Fla., had a removable Cook “Celect” filter implanted in her vena cava, a large vein carrying blood into the heart, before back surgery on Nov 17, 2010.”

“By March 23, 2011, doctors tried unsuccessfully to remove the filter. Hill developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain,” Bodine writes.

“She underwent an endoscopy that revealed the filter had perforated through her inferior vena cava and into her small intestine. She went to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, a specialized hospital where the filter was finally taken out. As a result, the vena cava was permanently narrowed at the removal site,” according to Bodine.

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