Medical Device Manufacturer Facing Class Action Suit in Multi-Jurisdiction Lawsuit
A multi-jurisdiction lawsuit against a popular medical device manufacturer has been filed in the Southern District of Indiana U.S. District Court. The lawsuit was filed by Steven E., a man from Maryland who was injured by the Günther Tulip® Inferior Vena Cava Filter (“IVC Filter”) Steven E. had the Cook IVC filter implanted in his body on March 4, 2012 in a New York hospital, according to the lawsuit he filed. Steven E. has brought forth several counts against the defendants including strict products liability for failure to warn and design defect, negligence, negligence per se, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty and punitive damages.
The issue may be related to materials. Permanent filters are typically made of stainless steel or titanium, whereas temporary filters are made of flexible metals like nitinol (nickel-titanium alloy) to make them easier to remove. Retrievable filters are increasingly implanted for prophylaxis in patients without blood clots who are at risk of a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). The problem is that years of constant flexing movements inside the inferior vena cava can wear out the metal. If just one of the needle-like legs breaks off, it can travel to the heart and cause death.
Cook Medical is currently facing approximately 1,500 other IVC filter lawsuits in Multi-District Litigation. Cook Medical is accused of downplaying the risk of side effects and misleading doctors about safety risks. Temporary IVC filters were advertised as superior to permanent designs because they could be removed, but in practice, they showed higher rates of early complications. If you have had one of these IVC filters implanted in your body and have been injured, be sure to contact an attorney.