2017-18 Bellwether cases against Günther Tulip and Celect IVC Filter Manufacturers
The first bellwether trials for Günther Tulip and Celect IVC Filters are set to take place in late 2017 and 2018. In these cases, the plaintiffs were implanted with Cook Medical IVC Filters and claim that the filter caused a multitude of injuries. Evidence for their allegations includes statistics from a study published by Cardiovascular Interventional Radiology. This study found that 100 percent of the individuals who were implanted with Cook Medical IVC Filters had evidence of vena cava wall puncture within 71 days post-implant. The study also reported that 40 percent of the filters implanted had migrated from their original positions.
There are 3 cases set for trial, per the order signed by Chief Judge Young:
The first Cook Medical MDL Bellwether trial was tried in October of 2017. It and was titled Hill v. Cook Medical, Inc., et al, 1:14-cv-6016. Plaintiff Elizabeth Jane Hill, was implanted with a Cook Celect filter. Plaintiff stated in her complaint that the filter migrated to her intestines and punctured one of the veins located therein. She was told that the filter could not be retrieved. As a result, she suffered numerous symptoms and injuries such as diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal pain, and other severe GI problems. Because of the sustained injuries and prolonged symptoms, she was diagnosed with “narrowing of the explant site of the vena cava and the bowel.” The complaint also alleged that Cook Medical was aware of the risks associated with the implantation of the Celect filter, yet they failed to warn the medical community about the potential dangers to patients.
This Bellwether trial was considered a “defense pick,” as it was chosen by the defense from the vast pool of Bellwether cases. Generally, during Bellwether selection, the defendants will choose cases they deem to be “weak.” This is done in hopes of having higher chances at obtaining jury verdicts in their favor. Unfortunately, this is the case for Ms. Hill. After a fourteen-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. Instead of losing hope or momentum, this verdict has only encouraged more potential plaintiffs to voice how their implanted Cook Medical IVC filter has changed their lives for the worse.