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Judge Schedules First Bard IVC Filter MDL Status Conference

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The first status conference has been scheduled for the Bard IVC Filter lawsuits proceeding in the District of Arizona.

In August 2015, all federal cases were consolidated into one court to increase efficiency of pretrial proceedings. Now, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell has scheduled a meeting between the parties on October 29, 2015.

At the meeting, both sides are expected to discuss the status of the cases. Some cases are in the initial phases, others have reached or passed the summary judgment stage, and one has settled. There will likely to be additional cases joining, as well.

Items to Be Discussed at First Bard IVC Filter Status Conference

When the initial transfer order was issued in August, a total of 22 cases were moved into the District of Arizona. As of September 15, 2015, when this order was issued, there were a total of 41 cases pending in the Bard IVC filter MDL. That number is expected to continue over the next several months.

Plaintiffs typically claim that the Bard IVC filter, which is designed to help prevent a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), caused serious complications. In some cases the filter punctured the inferior vena cava—the main vein traveling from the lower legs to the heart—and in others, the device fractured, allowing small pieces to migrate to other organs, including the heart or lungs.

In the judge’s order, he stated that he would issue an agenda for the first status conference after the parties submit their proposed agenda on 10/9/2015. He added that the proposed agenda should address:

a) whether the cases should be divided into categories, or if all cases raise all of the common issues
b) what should be done to address the varying statuses of the cases
c) coordination with any cases proceeding in state courts
d) the creation of a potential master complaint
e) the discovery plan
f) the creation of potential fact sheets
g) any issues that could be resolved early

In addition to the above, the judge also stated that all outstanding disclosure and discovery is stayed pending the conference, and noted that both parties are expected to submit applications for lead counsel by October 9, 2015.

FDA Warns About Potential IVC Filter Injuries

At issue in this litigation are three Bard IVC filters, namely, the Bard Recovery, Bard G2, and Bard G2 Express filters. These were designed to be implanted in patients at risk for blood clots to help reduce the risk of a pulmonary embolism.

There have been some studies published indicating that Bard IVC filters have a high rate of perforation. In 2010, for example, researchers looked at data from patients who received a Bard Recovery or Bard G2 between 2004 and 2009, and found that 16 percent of the filters fractured, which presents a risk of perforation and migration.

In August 2010, the FDA warned that IVC filters could cause serious injuries, and in 2014, they updated that communication to warn doctors to remove the filters within 29 to 54 days after implantation, as long as the risk for pulmonary embolism had passed.