Patient Safety News: Man killed by defective IVC filter, family claims in new lawsuit

A medical device manufacturer based in Pennsylvania faces a federal lawsuit alleging it knew the dangers posed by its implantable blood clot filters, but sold the devices anyway.

The family of Keith A. Waters of North Carolina claims he died because one of the metal filters broke apart and lodged in his heart and lungs. They are suing B. Braun Medical Inc. and subsidiary Aesculap Implant Systems. The lawsuit was filed Friday, March 31, in federal court in Charlotte, N.C.

The filing of the lawsuit was covered by the Morning Call newspaper.

“The suit claims B. Braun and Aesculap were negligent in producing and selling the filter and are liable for the device’s alleged design defects, manufacturing defects, failing to warn of risks, breach of warranty and fraud. It seeks unspecified damages for personal injury, medical expenses and lost earnings,” the Morning Call reported.

Working in collaboration with other national law firms, Berman & Simmons is handling claims involving patients who developed harmful complications due to the use of several types of IVC filters.

“While device manufacturers have made millions off these dangerous filters, real people were hurt and lost their lives,” said Michael Bigos, a Berman & Simmons lawyer who handles cases involving dangerous drugs and medical devices.

“This reinforces what we already know: Consumers must stand up and take action, and we need to continue to stand up with them. We can’t rely on the government and we can’t rely on these companies to act in the best interest of patients.”

IVC filters are tiny, cage-like devices that are designed to catch blood clots before they reach a person’s heart and lungs, where they can cause serious injury or death.

But in recent years, the FDA has received a wave of reports that the newer generation of retrievable IVC filters, made by Bard, Cook Medical, and other manufacturers, can cause harmful complications, including punctured organs and veins and even death. Patients have filed IVC filter lawsuits across the country.