Inferior Vena Cava (IVC)

Currently, there are more than 10,000 IVC filter cases filed across the country, in state and federal courts, with a majority being filed against manufacturers, Bard Medical and Cook Medical. IVC filters are small devices surgically implanted into the inferior vena cava in an effort to catch blood clots (where they should naturally dissolve) before they travel to the lungs, causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. The Bard MDL (multidistrict litigation) is venued in the District of Arizona, while the Cook MDL is venued in the Southern District of Indiana. Additionally, lawsuits are being filed against Boston Scientific for its Greenfield Vena Cava Filter in Ohio; as well as Rex Medical and Argon Medical for their Option and Option Elite IVC Filters in Pennsylvania.

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IVC filter lawsuits are on the rise. On August 17, 2015, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) consolidated the Bard IVC lawsuits, as part of a Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”), in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Case Management Plans and Case Management Orders for this MDL are described below.

On October 30, 2015, the MDL court issued Case Management Order #1, appointing leadership council, including Lead/Liaison and Steering Committee, and designating their duties and responsibilities for Case Management. According to the Order, the “Lead/Liaison will be (a) the only attorneys permitted to file in the Master Docket as to all actions, and (b) the only attorneys receiving Notices of Electronic Filing for pleadings and orders filed in the Master Docket for all actions.“


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IVC filter lawsuits are on the rise. On October 15, 2014, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) designated the Cook IVC Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. That Court has issued multiple Case Management Plans and Case Management Orders to guide and control the MDL.

On November 25, 2014, the MDL Court issued a comprehensive Case Management Plan, which designated Plaintiffs’ leadership structure (including lead counsel, liaison counsel, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee) and Defendants’ counsel. The MDL Court further set forth a description of the claims and defenses at issue and procedures for: pretrial pleadings and disclosures, general case discovery, bellwether selection criteria, case-specific discovery, motion practice and trial. Shortly thereafter, a form of Master Consolidated Complaint and a form of Short-Form Complaint were agreed upon and issued.


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