A small group of cases that are part of the Cook Medical IVC Filter MDL are going to be part of settlement conferences early next year. The judge overseeing this multidistrict litigation stated that these settlement conferences would be held in February of 2016. The specific cases that will be selected have not yet been identified. The purpose of these settlement conferences is to determine whether or not negotiating settlements without going to trial is possible. This multidistrict litigation is taking place in federal court in Indiana.
What Prompted the Cook Medical MDL?
The Cook Medical MDL arose because a large number of lawsuits were filed against the company by consumers. These consumers claim that they were injured as a result of using inferior vena cava (IVC) filters that are manufactured by Cook Medical. These filters are implanted into patients and are designed to be removable. Their purpose is to help patients avoid having blood clots travel to their hearts and lungs. When this danger is diminished, these IVC filters are supposed to be removed.
Unfortunately, many reports of problems with these IVC filters began to arise around the country. These reports led to the filing of individual IVC filter lawsuits against Cook Medical by consumers. At this point, there are dozens of individual claims that are active. When this situation arises, it can and often does lead to the formation of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL. An MDL is in effect a consolidation of these cases into one large matter if the facts of the claims are substantially similar. The reason for an MDL is to reach a conclusion for these claims more efficiently. Another reason for an MDL is to avoid duplicative discovery processes and the potential for differing results.
What Was Allegedly Wrong With These IVC Filters?
According to several of the complaints filed against Cook Medical, the main problem with these IVC filters involved their stability. At least one study found that 100 percent of the units analyzed perforated the venal caval wall within 71 days of being implanted. In addition, a study found that more than one-third of these IVC filters showed a tendency to tilt while inside a patient’s body, causing several different complications. Clearly, these malfunctions led to serious injuries and an immediate risk of death to patients.
What Will These IVC Filter Settlement Conferences Accomplish?
Nothing is guaranteed to be resolved at these settlement conferences next year. However, if there is progress made towards settlements it could prompt Cook Medical to seek settlements with several other individual plaintiffs. If there appears to be no chance of agreeing to settlements, then it’s likely that the matter will move forward by way of bellwether trials. Bellwether trials are a small number of claims within an MDL that are held to help determine the potential outcome for the remaining claims.
If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of this product, you need to contact the IVC filter lawyers at Parilman & Associates as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation. You can either email the firm or call 800-800-DRUG.