The first bellwether case among more than 3,500 against C.R. Bard over alleged injuries caused by its blood clot catching device is scheduled to go to trial March 13 in the U.S. District Court in the District of Arizona.
The case is one of five selected as a bellweathers, or cases to help provide both parties information as to the validity of the claims, and could help set the stage for global settlement negotiations. The first trial involves the case of Sherr-Una Booker.
Bard is one of the largest manufacturers of IVC filters, small, cage-like devices that are implanted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower extremities to the heart. The device is intended to catch blood clots traveling from the legs before they reach the heart or lungs.
In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the filters were prone to migrate or fracture within the inferior vena cave and perforate organs, including the heart and lungs, and cause an embolism. In 2014, the FDA strengthened its warning on IVC filters and advised medical professionals to remove the filters within one to two months after the patient’s risk of blood clots had passed to reduce their risk of injury from the devices.
In 2015, a news report revealed that Bard’s Recovery Model IVC filters had been linked to at least 27 deaths and more than 300 injuries, yet the company continued to market and sell their products.
Cook Medical, another major manufacturer of IVC filters, faces similar lawsuits, which have been consolidated into a separate multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Indiana.