Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters, or blood clot filters, are small, cage-like devices that are implanted into the inferior vena cava in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism. They are intended to catch blood clots before they can travel to the heart and lungs. Retrievable filters, like Bard’s Recovery and G2 devices, are meant for temporary placement, and should be retrieved once the blood clot threat has passed. Since 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two alerts regarding the importance of IVC filter retrieval, as leaving these devices in place longer than necessary greatly increases the risk of serious complications. However, plaintiffs who have filed Bard IVC filter lawsuits, either Bard Recovery IVC Filter lawsuits or G2 retrievable IVC Filter lawsuits claim that doctors were not provided with adequate warnings regarding the need to retrieve the Recovery and G2 devices.
The Recovery filter was brought to market by C.R. Bard in 2003. Just two years later, it was replaced with the G2 filter, a slightly modified version. When it introduced the G2 IVC filter, Bard promised that it offered “enhanced fracture resistance”, “improved centering” and “increased migration resistance.” However, IVC filter lawsuits allege that both the Recovery and G2 devices are associated with particularly high rates of fracture, migration and other problems that could cause serious and potentially fatal injuries. In 2010, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggested that the Bard Recovery filter failure rate was 25%, while the Bard G2 filter failure rate was around 12%.
In August 2015, it was determined that the litigation involving Bard IVC filters was large enough to warrant the creation of a multidistrict litigation. All federal IVC filter lawsuits alleging injury as a result of either the Recovery or G2 device have been transferred to the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, to be presided over by a single judge. By October 2015, more than 50 claims were pending in the proceeding. But legal experts believe that hundreds of IVC filter lawsuit could soon be added to the litigation.