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The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has decided to consolidate all pending IVC filter cases against C.R. Bard, Inc. and Bard Peripheral Vascular. This decision will centralize all cases filed in the federal court system before one judge, the Honorable David G. Campbell, United States District Court for the District of Arizona, allowing for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
It is anticipated that more than 200 cases will be immediately transferred with hundreds more to follow.
An MDL, a multidistrict litigation, is a legal procedure that allows courts to consolidate lawsuits that have been filed around the country for pretrial proceedings. This centralization eliminates duplicative discovery on common issues, avoids conflicting rulings, and is a more efficient process.
An MDL is not a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits involve a large number of similar claims over the same product; cases in an MDL remain an individual claim where each plaintiff has to establish that his or her injury was caused by a problem with the IVC filter implant.
Litigation is expected to grow over the remainder of 2015 and into 2016. In a Transfer Order issued August 17, the JPML determined that coordinated pretrial proceedings would be appropriate.
IVC filters are designed to catch blood clots caused by deep vein thrombosis (DPV) before entering the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism.
Several personal injury lawsuits filed cite FDA warnings that serious injuries may result if the filters were not removed and claim the individual’s internal injuries were caused when a Bard IVC filter splintered or moved from where it had been implanted.
Prior to putting the filter on the market, Bard was aware that these filters were associated with serious side effects, but withheld this information from physicians. On July 13, 2015, the FDA cited Bard for failing to report adverse events associated with these filters.
In addition, recent medical studies show that these filters offer little benefit to patients and the failure rate for these devices is as high as 40% after 5 years. To date, Bard has sold more than 500,000 of these devices.
As with any coordinated pretrial proceeding, it is anticipated that a small group of “bellwether” cases will be prepared for early trial dates. The outcomes of these bellwether cases are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout the litigation.
If you or a family member has suffered injuries from a failed IVC filter, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. All claims will be handled on an individual basis and not as part of a class action lawsuit.
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