On August 17, 2015, a new MDL was established in the U.S. District Court of Arizona that combined 22 outstanding lawsuits involving IVC filters manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc. In the following months, 34 new lawsuits were added to the MDL. Bringing the total up to 56 merged suits against C.R. Bard in the District Court of Arizona.
IVC filters are implanted in people in order to capture blood clots heading to the heart or lungs. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report stating that they had received 921 adverse event reports involving IVC filters since 2005. These events refer to IVC filter fractures, which cause the implants to detach and migrate through the body, often perforating organs along the way, sometimes leading to death. In 2014, the FDA decided that IVC filters should be removed between 29 and 54 days after implantation in order to avoid these complications, something manufacturers such as Bard failed to warn doctors or patients about.
According to the Transfer Order, the cases shared common questions of fact and similar allegations, namely design defects that made Bard’s IVC filters more likely to fracture, migrate, or perforate the inferior vena cava. On October 29th, a Scheduling Conference was held. Issues discussed in this conference included the structure of Plaintiffs’ leadership, the scope of discovery, and the handling of advanced cases that are nearly ready for trial.
As this MDL heads to trial, lawsuits against Bard and other IVC manufacturers continue to emerge. Just last week a new lawsuit was filed against Boston Scientific in a Maryland District Court. Cook Medical also has over 120 lawsuits pending against it, which are likely to form an MDL eventually too. Bard also faces about 2,100 lawsuits against it involving Transvaginal Mesh product liability. These cases have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. No trial date has been set for those cases as of yet.