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C.R. Bard is soon to face its second bellwether trial in the consolidated litigation in the District of Arizona. This, after the first one ended in favor of the plaintiff, with a verdict of $3.6 million.

These two cases are part of the early trials taking place in the consolidated litigation, which was established in August 2015. Currently, there are about 3,600 lawsuits pending in the MDL.

First C. R. Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Ends in Verdict for the Plaintiff

The first case to go to trial was filed by a Georgia woman who stated that after she was implanted with the Bard G2 inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, she suffered serious injuries because the device fractured inside her body. According to her complaint, the device also migrated so that one or more of its components perforated her inferior vena cava—the main vein that carries blood from the legs back to the heart and lungs.

The plaintiff went through surgery to have the broken device removed, but doctors were not able to get it all, and some pieces still remain in her body. The jury deliberated for only 6.5 hours before coming back with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. They found Bard 80 percent responsible for the plaintiffs’ injuries and awarded her $1.6 million in actual damages. The jury then ordered that Bard pay an additional $2 million in punitive damages.

Second C. R. Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Set to Begin in May

The second case is scheduled to go to trial on May 15, 2018. It involves another Georgia woman who claims she was implanted with the Bard Eclipse Vena Cava Filter, after which she suffered from serious complications. The implantation took place on August 24, 2010, and on April 22, 2015, the filter fractured and embolized in her pulmonary artery. She seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

The outcomes of these two cases are likely to be watched carefully, as they may help facilitate future settlement negotiations.

FDA Warns About Risks Associated with IVC Filters

In May 2014, the FDA issued a safety communication, warning that IVC filters should be removed as soon as they are no longer needed—optimally, within 29-54 days after implantation—to protect patients from serious side effects. They noted in the communication that they had received reports of problems with these filters, including device migration, filter fracture, embolization (movement of the entire filter or fracture fragments to the heart or lungs), perforation of the IVC, and difficulty removing the device.

The FDA noted that the problems could be related to how long the filter had been in the patient’s body and added that some complications could be avoided if the filter was removed “once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided.”

IVC filters are small, cage-like devices that once implanted into the IVC, trap blood clots so they can’t flow through the vein and lodge in the lungs. Once trapped, the clots eventually dissipate and are no longer dangerous. Between 2005 and 2010, the FDA received 921 reports of adverse events associated with the filters.

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