Arthur Gage waited too long to sue Cook Medical Inc., over claims that the company’s blood clot-catching device caused him serious injuries, according to Law360. Gage sued the company in 2014, but an Indiana federal judge ruled that he should have filed within a year and a day of the product’s delivery in 2011.
Gage’s case was the second bellwether in a multidistrict litigation accusing Cook Medical’s IVC filters of causing injuries. IVC filters are tiny cage-like devices that are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC), a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower extremities to the heart. The devices are designed to catch blood clots before they reach the heart, where they can lead to serious and life-threatening problems.
But the devices have been linked to serious complications including migration and fracturing, which can cause the metal struts to puncture and embed in the inferior vena cava or other parts of the body leading to serious injuries.
Gage was implanted with Cook Medical’s Gunther Tip IVC filter in April 2011. He claims the device caused him to suffer chest pain and shortness of breath. He alleges that doctors discovered his blood clot-capturing device had pierced a vein and could not be removed safely. Gage file this lawsuit in November 2011 alleging Cook Medical knew the filter was prone to break and move inside patients’ bodies, where it could damage the walls of the vena cava.
Cook Medical had argued that the statute of limitations for the man’s remaining breach of warranty claim was a year and a day, according to the terms and conditions of the filter’s sale. But Gage didn’t sue Cook Medical for breach of warranty until more than three years after his surgery, the medical device company argued. The court agreed, and also determined that claims based on failure to warn, defective design and negligent manufacture were also time-barred.
More than 3,000 lawsuits alleging Cook Medical’s IVC filters caused injuries were combined in a multidistrict litigation in Indiana federal court. Another 3,000 filter lawsuits have also been filed against medical device maker C.R. Bard, and are also pending in a separate multidistrict litigation in Arizona federal court.