C.R. Bard asked an Arizona federal court for a new trial after being slapped with a $3.6 million verdict in a case brought by a woman who claimed the company’s blood clot-catching device was defective and caused her serious injuries. The medical device company argued that the jury’s findings were “inconsistent” and relied on weak evidence.
Plaintiff Sherr-Una Booker’s case was the first bellwether case to go to trial among thousands pending in a multidistrict litigation accusing Bard’s IVC filters of fracturing and migrating inside a patient’s body causing serious and life threatening injuries.
IVC filters are tiny 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 designed to capture blood clots before they reach the heart and lungs.
Booker was 37 when she was implanted with Bard’s G2 IVC filter to protect her from blood clots in her lungs, a condition called pulmonary embolism. But after receiving the device, Booker claims the device fractured, sending bits of metal into her spine and heart. She had to undergo open-heart surgery to remove the wayward filter struts. Not all of the metal shards could be removed, and Booker faces lifelong health threats. She sued Bard, claiming the company was aware its device was prone to fracturing and migrating, and perforating tissues and organs.
Bard claims it is entitled to a new trial because the jury’s verdict is irreconcilably inconsistent, arguing that Booker failed to present any evidence at the trial on the fundamental premise that that the company was negligent by failing to warn the public Furthermore, the company argued, the jury found the company was liable for negligent failure to warn but not strict liability failure to warn.
Booker’s trial was the first bellwether in a multidistrict litigation of about 3,700 cases involving injury and failure to warn claims with various Bard IVC filters.