If you have an intravenous filter in your body, you will likely find the latest lawsuit about defective devices of interest.
A federal jury in Indianapolis, IN, has found the IVC filters Cook Medical makes to be defective and a danger to patients.
About IVC filters
An inferior vena cava, or IVC, filter is a small medical device shaped like an umbrella. A doctor implants the device in the inferior vena cava, which is a vein that leads directly to the heart. The purpose of this device is to catch any blood clots that travel from the lower body toward the heart or lungs.
About the case
On February 5, 2019, a federal jury found the IVC filters made by Cook Medical, Inc., to be defective. An award of $3 million went to a woman in Georgia who experienced medical problems when her implanted IVC filter deteriorated. This is the first time a jury has reached a verdict concerning an IVC manufacturer. However, thousands of similar lawsuits against this manufacturer and others are pending.
Potential medical problems
IVC filters are intended for short-term use, but they can move within the body, and doctors have to tell some patients that removal is not possible. If a problem with an IVC filter develops, a patient may have symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. The filter could fracture, become embedded in an organ or perforate the heart or lungs. Surgery to remove the device may be possible in some cases, but not in others due to the possibility of life-threatening complications.
Further investigation into defective IVC filters has shown that some manufacturers have failed to provide appropriate warning labels, but other reasons for filing a lawsuit concerning a defective device exist. If you are among those who have an IVC filter, have experienced medical problems or are aware the device cannot be safely removed, consider your options. The federal jury in the case against Cook Medical has opened the door to legal remedies.