Blood clots which develop inside the pelvis and legs are referred to as deep vein thrombosis (“DVT”). DVTs, while usually not life threatening, have the potential to travel to the lungs and cause death as a result of cutting off blood flow to the lungs. Inferior Vena Cava (“IVC”) filters are designed to “catch” blood clots before they reach the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism. The IVC is implanted into a patient’s inferior cava vein through a catheter inserted in the patient’s neck or groin. The small metal device is designed to catch and trap blood clots with its metal wires. The most common complications associated with IVCs include punctured organs and blood vessels and migration of the filter to different parts of the body.
For major manufacturers of inferior vena cava filters, recent warnings from the FDA have provided major worry with regard to lawsuits filed by those who have had the devices implanted. In 2010, the FDA warned that the IVC devices posed a risk of filter fracture, device migration, or organ perforation, stating that the devices should be removed once a patient is no longer at risk for blood clots. In 2014, the FDA went further in warning that most devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day of implantation. For many patients however, the warnings came years after implantation and long after they had suffered adverse consequences.
At the center of IVC litigation are major medical manufacturers BARD and Cook Medical. Several class actions and individual suits have been filed against the manufacturers alleging theories of negligence, failure to warn, design and manufacturing defects, and misrepresentation, among others.
Recent studies suggest that 40% of all IVC Filters will fail after 5 1/2 years, in addition 91.5% of retrievable IVC Filters cannot be removed. Numerous Adverse Incident complaints have been filed with the FDA as a result of this defective product. If you or a loved one has suffered an adverse event or death due to a BARD or other IVC Blood Clot Filter that has failed, fractured or migrated to the heart, lungs or other organs you may be entitled to compensation from the product manufacturer. Therefore, please contact our office to discuss your legal rights if you have had an IVC Filter Implanted after 2002 or if you have had an IVC filter fail.