Update: IVC Filter Bellwether Trials Scheduled
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are small, spider-like devices that are implanted in patients who are at risk for developing severe blood clots. These filters are designed to catch clots in the bloodstream and break them apart before they are allowed to migrate to another part of the body and cause a stroke, myocardial infarction, or pulmonary embolism. These retrievable filters were intended to be placed in the body for only a short amount of time while the patient is in immediate danger. However, several studies have found that a large number of patients have suffered from serious complications after the device was left in the body for an extended period of time. Many of these injured patients have filed claims in the IVC filter lawsuit, and many of these individual claims have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) actions. Recently, plaintiffs who have brought claims against Cook Medical have agreed to schedule the first IVC filter bellwether trials in Indiana and are expected to begin in September 2016.
Bellwether Trials in Multidistrict Litigation
MDLs are increasingly common in medical product liability cases that involve a large number of plaintiffs who have similar claims against a manufacturer. MDLs are similar to class action lawsuits in that the cases are combined for the purposes of evidence discovery and pretrial questions, but each plaintiff remains independent and decisions in other cases are not legally binding on other claims. To settle some fo the common issues involved with these cases, several claims are selected as bellwether trials. The settlements or trial results of these primary cases are used to shape the process for all remaining claims, and defendant companies commonly use bellwether trials to gain a realistic expectation of their financial liability, allowing them to develop settlement classes based on the severity of plaintiff's injuries.
Cook Medical Bellwether Trials
Recently, Cook Medical and claimants against the company agreed to dates for the initial bellwether trials, which have been scheduled for September 2016. These approximately 400 claims against Cook, concerning their Celect and Gunther Tulip IVC filters, have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Richard Young in the Southern District of Indiana. Additionally, claims against C.R. Bard implicating their Recovery, G2, and G2 Express filters have been consolidated under U.S. District judge David Campbell in the District of Arizona. This litigation, involving almost 500 injured patients, is not expected to select bellwether trials until 2017. As new developments continue to emerge, our legal team will be updating the status of the IVC filter lawsuit.
Contact an Experienced IVC Filter Attorney
At this stage of litigation, many plaintiffs have already come forward. However, if you have been injured by an IVC filter, it is not too late to file a claim against the manufacturers. Contact an experienced pharmaceutical attorney to schedule a free case evaluation.
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