Indiana jurors reach key product defect verdict in second MDL bellwether trial
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A federal jury in Indianapolis has found an intravenous filter made by Cook Medical Inc. to be defective and dangerous, awarding $3 million to a Georgia woman who suffered medical complications after the filter deteriorated inside her body.
The Feb. 5 verdict marks the first time a jury has reached a finding that the widely used IVC filters made by Cook Medical and other manufacturers are defective. The devices are placed in the inferior vena cava, a vein leading to the heart, to catch blood clots and stop them from traveling to the heart or lungs.
“Jurors in this trial considered all of the evidence presented. They’ve sent a message that there’s a problem with IVC filters and they’ve put manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable,” said Majed Nachawati, co-founder of the Fears Nachawati law firm. The firm has a leadership role in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving the devices and is part of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
In addition to the federal MDL, state lawsuits have been filed across the country. Claims include reports of the implanted filters perforating the artery wall or breaking, causing pain and requiring invasive removal surgeries, and manufacturers’ failure to use adequate warning labels. In the most recent trial, plaintiff Tonya Brand alleged that she pulled a part of her Cook IVC filter out of her thigh in 2011 after it broke up and deteriorated, while pieces of the device remain lodged in her body and cannot be safely removed.
The trial team representing Ms. Brand included Ben Martin of Dallas-based Law Offices of Ben C. Martin; Denman Heard of Houston-based Heard Law Firm; Laura Baughman of Dallas-based Baron & Budd, Joseph Williams of Indiana-based Riley, Williams & Piatt; and Misty Farris of Dallas-based Fears Nachawati.
More than 5,000 similar lawsuits against Cook Medical and more than 5,000 lawsuits against C.R. Bard Inc. are pending in MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The master case is MDL No. 2570 IN RE: Cook Medical Inc, IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:14-ml-2570-RLY-TAB
Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm represents individuals and businesses in cases involving public entities, private entities, mass torts, serious personal injury, auto accidents, drug and medical device cases, wrongful death, business and family law, bankruptcy, and criminal defense matters. For more information on the firm, visit https://www.fnlawfirm.com.