Cook IVC Filter Lawsuits Proceed Toward Trial
November 6, 2015
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters are tiny blood clot filter devices that are designed to prevent blood clots from traveling from the lower body to the lungs. Patients are often given an IVC filter if they are deemed to be at significant risk of suffering from a pulmonary embolism and cannot take anticoagulants.
Approximately 200 product liability cases have been filed against Defendant, Cook Medical, concerning complications with implanted IVC filters. These cases involve injuries suffered when the filter moved out of position, punctured the vena cava, or broke apart, causing small pieces of the device to travel to the Plaintiff's heart or lungs.
Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) cases occur when civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts across the country. To efficiently handle large amounts of these cases, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) may decide to consolidate the cases under the MDL by transferring all of them to the same district.
The cook IVC MDL has been centralized in the Southern District of Indiana with presiding U.S. District Judge, Richard L. Young. A small group of 10 Cook IVC cases are going through discovery process, from which four "bellwether" cases will be chosen to be tried in front of juries in late 2016. The outcomes of these four cases will influence the possibility of the other Cook IVC filter cases reaching settlements.
In August of 2015, the Defendant, Cook Medical, requested that the Court bifurcate the issue of punitive damages, which are designed to punish the Defendant for their design and marketing of the product. Bifurcating an issue means that it will be tried separately. Cook Medical requested that the examinations of punitive damages be postponed until after a decision concerning compensatory damages was made. Compensatory damages serve the purpose of compensating the Plaintiffs that have been injured by the Cook IVC filters.
On October, 30, 2015, U.S. Magistrate Judge, Tim A. Baker, issued an order rejecting Cook Medical's bifurcation request to postpone discovery of their company's financial information. Judge Baker explained that the Defendants failed to specifically identify the information they wished to protect. He wrote that the Plaintiffs and the Jury will need Cook's financial information to decide if Cook is liable for punitive damages.
The 10 Plaintiffs in the discovery pool are planning to make a demand for settlement, which will likely include a claim for special damages. If a settlement is not reached, the parties will appear before the court in March of 2016 to argue which cases should be selected for the four "bellwether" trials to begin in late 2016.
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If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to a defective Bard IVC Filter or Bard G2 filter, our medical products liability lawyers can help recover the compensation you may be entitled to. Please call us right away to speak with an experienced product liability attorney who specializes in defective pharmaceutical litigation and dangerous drug recall lawsuits. We can help you and your family to get the justice and compensation you need and deserve.