Orlando IVC Filter Lawsuit Attorneys
The decision to undergo surgery is not an easy one. But we trust our doctors and we trust that if surgery is recommended, we will come out of it with a better quality of life than when we went into it. We also trust that the companies that sell medical devices and implants that go into our bodies have tested these products and proven them to be safe and effective. Devastatingly, this isn’t always the case.
Defective medical devices, like IVC filters, power morcellators, hip replacements and transvaginal mesh, can oftentimes be more dangerous than dangerous drugs. They’re permanently implanted in our bodies rather than pills we pop in our mouths. Even worse, the medical device world has been referred to as the Wild Wild West due to the little oversight the FDA has on these devices. Documentaries like Bleeding Edge have shed light on a loophole, called 510(k) pathway, that allow untested devices to jump straight into the market. “That provision, which was meant as an exception, in essence [is] a loophole,” says Dr. David Kessler, a former FDA commissioner, in The Bleeding Edge. “[It] became the rule, so that the vast majority of devices today regrettably are regulated under this framework.”
Many of our friends and family live every day with a higher than normal risk of blood clots. Sometimes, it’s simply the luck of the draw with genetics such as Factor V Leiden mutation. Sometimes it’s acquired conditions like Lupus anticoagulant, cancer or Crohn’s disease. People who have limited mobility or paralysis have greater risks of clots because the leg muscles do not contract and move to help blood flow return to the heart. Even oral contraceptives and hormone replacements can put people at a higher risk.
IVC FILTERS FAIL
A high risk of blood clotting often requires daily anticoagulant medication like Coumadin or Xarelto. But those drugs come with their own potential downfalls and dangerous side effects. Enter: IVC filters. These filters seemed like they were an answer to patients’ prayers, a way they could remove that risk that they live with every day without taking pills—a surgery to insert a small metal filter into the inferior vena cava (IVC), that would catch any potential blood clots before they got to the heart and ultimately the lungs.
With the promise of a better quality of life, thousands of people put their bodies through this surgery. But when they came out of surgery, thousands of people now live with additional pain and suffering, with metal prongs permanently lodged in their IVC, perforated bowels, immense throbbing in their spine and even a higher risk of death. These IVC filters have failed.
THE BLOOD CLOT SEESAW
Think of your body as a seesaw. On one side, you have bodies that clot too much, posing high risks of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots that develop deep within veins, and, if dislodged, can cause pulmonary embolism. On the other side of the seesaw are bodies that can’t clot and are prone to continual bleeding. We need to be in the middle of this seesaw, completely balanced with the ability to clot when necessary.
If your seesaw is unbalanced and heavy on the clotting side, there are many options to prevent DVT. One of these options is called an IVC filter, or an inferior vena cava filter. Your IVC is the major vein that brings oxygen-poor blood from your lower body to your heart. The theory behind the IVC filter is that the wiry device would catch any potential blood clots and stop them from moving up to the heart and lungs.
Sounds good in theory.
In reality, these devices frequently fail. They can perforate a patient’s IVC, they can migrate to other vital organs and they can break apart and embed themselves throughout the body.
Prior to 2002, IVC filters were considered permanent. But post 2002, manufacturing companies have marketed IVC filters as permanent or removable. With that, IVC filter use skyrocketed. Doctors started using IVC filters in patients that didn’t necessarily need them. Instead, they began using filters as a preventative, temporary solution when doing surgeries, like lap band surgeries, that inherently had higher risk of blood clots. The intention was to remove filters months after surgery. But when they went to remove the filters, they couldn’t. In 2010 and 2014, the FDA warned physicians that they should consider removing the filters as soon as protection from blood clots is no longer needed. But again, in many cases, the filters could not be removed.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH THE MAHER LAW FIRM ATTORNEYS
Question: What IVC filter manufacturers is The Maher Law Firm suing?
Answer: The Maher Law Firm is investigating and pursing lawsuits against several manufacturers of IVC Filters. The Maher Law Firm has filed lawsuits against Cook Incorporated, C.R. Bard Inc., Argon Medical Devices, Inc. and Cordis Corporation. Each of these manufacturers markets and sells a different type of IVC filter. We commonly refer to these filters by their respective brands “Bard IVC Filters,” “Cook IVC Filters,” “Argon IVC Filters” and “Cordis IVC Filters.” While all of the filters are similar, each brand carries different benefits and risks.
Q: How do I know if I have an IVC filter lawsuit?
A:In order to find out whether a client has a potential case, the Maher law firm must determine what brand of filter was implanted and whether it has malfunctioned. The best way to tell whether a client’s IVC filter is functioning properly is to undergo a CT Scan with contrast. If a client is unable to have a scan completed, the Maher law firm can often work with the client to find an appropriate doctor and have the proper diagnostic tests completed.
The simple answer? Call The Maher Law Firm and we’ll walk you through the entire process. We take the counseling part of our job very seriously.
Q: What should I do if I have an IVC filter but am asymptomatic?
A: In 2010 and 2014 the FDA issued safety notices regarding injuries associated with IVC filters. In both cases, the FDA warned physicians who implant these filters that they should consider removing the filters as soon as protection from blood clots is no longer needed. The FDA and medical literature make two important safety suggestions regarding IVC filters. First, if you have a retrievable filter and your risk of pulmonary embolism has passed, then your IVC filter should be evaluated for immediate removal. Second, to the extent you require a permanent IVC filter, you should seek systematic long-term follow-up care regarding the condition of your filter.
Q: What type of lawsuit is the IVC filter litigation?
A: The IVC filter litigation is not a class action, it is a mass tort. Mass tort cases are different from class actions in that each claimant maintains their own case against the Defendant, but all of the cases have been consolidated in front of the same judge for costs and efficiency purposes. In most situations, a claimant’s mass tort case will be remanded back to the claimant’s home state for trial if it is not settled or dismissed as part of the national mass tort case.
Q: Where are the cases consolidated against each manufacturer?
A: IVC lawsuits against Bard have been consolidated before the same Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. The consolidated case is titled: In re Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation; Case No. MD-15-02641.
IVC lawsuits against Cook have been consolidated before the same Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Indiana. The consolidated case is titled: In re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation; Case No. 1:14-ml-2570-RLY-TAB.
IVC lawsuits against Argon are filed in Pennsylvania state court as part of the consolidated case: In re Option Vena Cava Filter Litigation; Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, May Term, 2017 No.:01600.
IVC lawsuits against Cordis are filed in California state court as part of the consolidated case: In re Cordis Corporation IVC Filter Products Liability Litigation; Case No. RG16812476 (Alameda County, CA).