IVC filter is a metallic cage like device that traps a blood clot before it can reach the lungs. It is used in those patients who may develop a PE and cannot be treated by using anticoagulant medication. This could be because they have allergies or because they are continuing to develop clots even though they have been treated with anticoagulants for a while. It is also possible that they have recently experienced trauma, surgery or bleeding, in which case blood thinning medication could be very dangerous. The IVC filter is placed in the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body that is responsible for carrying de-oxygenated blood to the heart that will be sent to the lungs.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have received hundreds of adverse event reports involving retrievable filters manufactured by C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, with reported side effects. Individuals are pursuing legal claims against the manufacturers like C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, claiming that they designed and sold defective devices. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters implanted to prevent potentially fatal lung clots have been linked to a number of serious complications, like filter fracture, device migration, and vein and organ perforation, and injured.
There are several numbers of lawsuits filed by plaintiffs against the manufacturers of IVC filter.
Although many IVC filter lawsuits involving injuries from the Recovery have already been resolved, there are a number of complaints still pending in courts across the country. Overall, some 900 separate reports of adverse problems with IVC filters have been received. The lawsuits allege several claims, including negligence, failure to warn, liability for design defects, breach of implied warranty, failure to recall, fraudulent misrepresentation, and concealing evidence.
- On June 20, 2016, a woman from New Jersey filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Arizona for injuries she allegedly suffered because of the Meridian Vena Cava Filter made by C.R. Bard and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. The woman is accusing the makers of the filter of negligence for creating and selling a defective medical device and then for failing to give warning about the side effects as well as breaching implied and express warranty.
- In January 2016 a very recent case filed concerns a South Dakota woman who underwent implantation of the Bard Eclipse IVC filter in October of 2012. A year and a half later, doctors discovered her filter had migrated and was embedded in her internal organs. The plaintiff’s doctor said he was unable to remove the filter without risk of causing her additional harm, and she is alleging damages that include bodily injury, disability, impairment, disfigurement, and emotional and psychological trauma.
- In February 2016, two class action lawsuits against Cook Medical were filed in Canada. In one case, a woman must take blood thinners indefinitely because her Cook filter, which was implanted in 2013, fractured.
IVC filters have been in use for at least 30 years. In 1979 doctors implanted 2,000 of them. That number grew to 167,000 in 2007. However, as per a recent study IVC filter use continues to puzzle medical researchers. Most of the devices, around 91% actually, are being used in pulmonary embolism patients in stable condition, a group in who filters show no clinically meaningful benefit.