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A Pennsylvania man has filed a new IVC filter lawsuit against manufacturer C. R. Bard. He filed the case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Since the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal Bard IVC filter lawsuits into the District of Arizona in August 2015, it is expected that this case will soon be transferred to Arizona.

The plaintiff is a resident of North Wales, Pennsylvania, and claims that after being implanted with the Bard G2 IVC filter, he suffered serious injuries. He seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.

Plaintiff’s Bard G2 IVC Filter Perforates the Vein
According to his complaint, the plaintiff was implanted with a Bard G2 IVC filter in September 2012. This filter is a device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava (IVC), the main vein that pushes blood from the lower legs back up to the heart and lungs. If a blood clot forms in the deep veins, it can travel through the IVC to lodge in the lungs, potentially causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).

IVC filters may be implanted in patients at risk for PE who cannot take anti-coagulant drugs, or who have other risks, to help reduce the risk of PE. These filters are meant to be implanted only temporarily. They resemble a small cage, and trap any blood clots within their struts or “legs” until the clot dissipates, thereby preventing a PE.

In 2013, doctors discovered that the plaintiff’s filter had tilted from its original position in the vein, and had actually perforated the vein. This caused injury to the plaintiff, and he had to be hospitalized. Doctors performed surgery to repair the damaged vein, but they could not extract the filter at that time. They had to leave it in the vein, which presents a lifetime risk of further injury to the plaintiff.

Bard G2 IVC Filters Prone to Fracture

This is one of many similar Bard IVC lawsuits filed in courts around the country. Plaintiffs often claim that their devices tilted or migrated and perforated the vein. Other times, parts of the device, such as the struts or legs, break off and travel to other organs, such as the heart or lungs, perforating these organs and causing serious injuries.

A 2010 study found that Bard G2 IVC filters, in particular, seemed to have a higher than normal risk of perforation. Researchers followed 80 patients who were implanted with the devices between 2004 and 2009, and found that 16 percent of the filters fractured.

The FDA issued a safety communication in 2010 warning that IVC filters could cause serious injuries, including organ perforation. Later, in May 2014, they updated that communication to warn doctors that these filters should be removed between 29 and 54 days after implantation, as long as the risk for PE had passed. Removing them more quickly is believed to help reduce the risk of injury.

Bard G2 Subject to the Same Design Flaws as Bard Recovery

The plaintiff notes in his case that the Bard G2 was released in 2005 following problems with the previous design, called the Bard Recovery. Soon after its release in the market, the Recovery was linked with reports of fracturing and migrating to vital organs. Studies showed that it was prone to a fracture rate of 21 to 31.7 percent.

The G2 was designed to replace the Recovery, but the plaintiff points out that it is strikingly similar to the Recovery, made with the same materials and with the same design, which makes it vulnerable to the same types of defects.

The Bard IVC Filter MDL proceeding in Arizona currently has over 100 cases pending.

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