The first bellwether trial for IVC filter plaintiffs against C.R. Bard begins on March 14th, 2018. Over 3,000 IVC filter lawsuits against Bard are pending in the United States District Court of Arizona in a consolidated multi-district litigation (MDL). Five bellwether cases were chosen to represent the entirety of the plaintiffs.
Bellwether cases are vital components of the MDL process. They are used as indicators of likely outcomes of future similar cases and can be utilized as a guide or reference for settlement offers and negotiations by both the plaintiffs and defendants. Bellwether cases provide insight about the arguments and counter-arguments that each side will make, and also supply plaintiffs and their legal teams with a preview of the likely defenses manufacturers will attempt to raise.
Bard’s IVC filters, as well as many other types of IVC devices produced and distributed by similar medical companies, are known to rupture and break after implantation in the body. They are also linked to various perforations of the inferior vena cava and migration from the original implantation location to other parts of the patient’s body.
A report by NBC news in 2015 concluded that 27 deaths and over 300 injuries could be tied to the Bard IVC filters. That study, paired with several related lawsuits, has patients and their attorneys wondering just how much Bard actually knew about the safety and effectiveness of its medical devices before it decided to market, distribute, and sell its IVC filters.
Per internal documents that have recently surfaced, Bard had been raising their own questions about the safety of their IVC devices for nearly 14 years. However, the manufacturer decided to wait 10 months before acting on any of their concerns, and sold an additional 34,000 IVC filters in the meantime.
Stay tuned as we cover any news that takes place at the MDL proceedings that started on March 14th.