Patient Safety News: Cook Medical to Pay $1.2 Million in IVC Filter Lawsuit Verdict

A Texas jury ruled that Cook Medical, the maker of the Celect inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, must pay plaintiff Jeffrey Pavlock $1.2 million in damages for serious injuries he suffered from the device and for failure to warn about its risks as a Texas jury found on May 24, 2018.

Pavlock, a Houston, Texas area firefighter, received the implant in 2015 to prevent blood clots from reaching his heart and lungs. After the danger of blood clots had passed seven weeks later, doctors tried to remove it and found that it had become embedded in a blood vessel. Parts of the filter also perforated his aorta and small intestine. A second retrieval attempt was unsuccessful.

The metal devices are inserted into the largest vein in the body, the inferior vena cava, to catch blood clots. Some of the filters, such as the Cook Celect, are intended to be retrievable, but their legs can break and travel to other parts of the body, such as the heart and lungs, and endanger patients’ lives. Symptoms of a filter fracture can include chest pain and shortness of breath, as well as internal bleeding, constant and severe pain in the heart, chest, and elsewhere. Emergency medical treatment can involve cardiac catheterization or a CT scan to find where the filter is located.

Pavlock’s case was tried in Texas state court. More than 8,000 IVC filter lawsuits have been filed against the two largest manufacturers, Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. Several more trials are expected in the next two years. Another Cook trial is set for September 2018.

Cook Medical officials said they will appeal the jury’s decision on “multiple grounds,” and that they will continue to defend their IVC filters.

Berman & Simmons’ skilled team of lawyers has won many cases involving medical devices and they can help you win, too.

“This is the first win against Cook, and we anticipate more wins in future cases,” said Berman & Simmons attorney Susan Faunce. “If you’ve suffered injuries from an IVC filter, we can help you get you compensation for damages you may be entitled to.”

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