Bard IVC Filter Class Action Lawsuit-Like Centralization Sought Following Lack of Settlement Progress
With a large number of Bard IVC filter lawsuits likely to be filed over the coming months, each involving nearly identical allegations that individuals suffered severe internal damage when the small implants fractured or broke inside their body, a request has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to establish centralized pretrial proceedings for the cases.
Known as an MDL, or Multidistrict litigation, the coordinated litigation is often confused with a Bard IVC Filter class action. However, there are important differences between an MDL and class action lawsuit.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered Problems from a Bard IVC Filter?
IVC Filters, or Inferior Vena Cava Filters, are small, spider-like devices that are implanted into the vena cava to “catch” blood clots that may break free and prevent them from traveling to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism.
Design problems with several different types of “retrievable” filters introduced over the past decade have been linked to reports of the struts or legs breaking or fracturing. This may cause severe internal injuries, such as:
- Puncturing of Internal Organs
- Increase Heart Rate (Ventricular Tachycardia)
- Hemorrhaging Around the Heart (Hemorrhagic Pericardial Effusion)
- Heart Rhythm Disruption (Cardiac Tamponade)
- Puncturing of Veins and Arteries
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been pursuing Bard Recovery Filter lawsuits and Bard G2 Filter lawsuits for several years, investigating claims for individuals who have experienced complications with either of these two popular models.
With Bard failing to make good faith attempts to settle large numbers of unfiled cases, a motion was filed with the U.S. JPML last week, seeking to establish centralized proceedings in the federal court system. If the request is granted, all complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide will be transferred to one judge to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
Bard IVC Filter MDL vs. Class Action
While the coordinated management provided through an MDL is often referred to as a class action for Bard IVC filters, each claim ultimately remains an individual case where the plaintiff must establish that there injuries were caused by problems with the IVC filter.
Unlike a class action, where all claims would be tried through a class representative, each plaintiff in an MDL will still have the burden of proving that their injury was caused by a Bard IVC filter and establishing the amount of damages to which they are entitled. Since the circumstances surrounding the complications caused by the implants will be different in each case, the claims cannot be judged based on the same set of facts.
An MDL judge would preside over coordinated discovery into common issues in the cases, including the exchange of documents and depositions of common fact witnesses in the case. As part of the proceedings, the judge will often select a small group of cases, known as “bellwether” cases, to be prepared for early trial dates. These claims will go through case-specific discovery and expert witness discovery regarding the link between Bard IVC filters and internal injuries.
While the outcomes of any early bellwether trials are not binding on other plaintiffs, they are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the Bard IVC filter litigation.
Following a series of bellwether trials, if Bard IVC filter settlements are not reached to resolve large numbers of cases, the judge presiding over the litigation may begin remanding large numbers of individual cases back to the U.S. District Courts where they were originally filed for separate trial dates.
IVC Filter Class Action Lawyers
In addition to claims over Bard filters, similar Cook IVC filter lawsuits are also being reviewed by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. Last year, the U.S. JPML established similar class action-like centralization for all claims involving problems with Cook IVC filters.
Serious and potentially life-threatening injuries have been caused by design defects associated with the IVC filters and a failure of the manufacturers to adequately warn about the importance of retrieving the filters once the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed.
To review whether you, a friend or family member may be eligible to pursue financial complications, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.