Nationwide allegations of personal injuries resulting from failed IVC filters culminated in multidistrict litigations being formed against leading pharmaceutical manufacturers Cook Medical LLC in 2014 and C.R. Bard Inc., in 2015. As these mass tort cases proceed in their respective MDLs, legal practitioners are closely following the first Cook IVC filter bellwether case as it starts its third week of trial before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana (In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2570).
The goal of a bellwether trial is to provide a representative sample of the whole and is intended to be indicative of future trials. In this first Cook IVC filter case, the Florida plaintiff, Elizabeth Jane Hill, was implanted with a Cook Celect IVC filter that migrated and perforated her vena cava and small intestine. After a failed retrieval attempt, her filter was successfully removed two years after implant. Ms. Hill’s trial centers on her strict liability claim that the Cook’s Celect IVC filter was defectively designed.
On Thursday, November 2, 2017, Ms. Hill rested her case and, as expected, the defense moved for a directed verdict. While preserving Cook’s right to object to an adverse jury verdict at the conclusion of the case, the defense motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law argues that a reasonable jury would not find for Ms. Hill on her strict-liability design defect claim. Ms. Hill’s trial resumes on Monday, November 6, 2017 when the defendants will begin to present their case to the jury. The jury trial is anticipated to last another two weeks.
With this first Cook IVC trial seemingly headed for a verdict in the coming weeks, across the country in Arizona, counsel for the plaintiff and defense are in full trial preparation mode for the first Bard IVC bellwether case which is scheduled to begin on March 13, 2018 in the U.S. District Court in Arizona before Judge David G. Campbell (In Re: Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2641). The second Bard IVC bellwether trial is set to get under way in Arizona on May 15, 2018.
In multidistrict litigation a bellwether trial is looked at like a “predictor” of what will happen if other cases go to trial. The outcome of these first IVC bellwether trials will likely influence the resolution of the hundreds of other pending cases. Needless to say, many people around the country are waiting to see what the jury decides in these early IVC filter trials.
Lawyers at Paglialunga & Harris, PS are litigating cases for individuals who have experienced complications following an IVC implant. If you or somebody you know was implanted with an IVC filter, please contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.