A number of personal injury lawyers have announced that they are taking cases related to blood filter failures effective immediately. The personal injury lawyers are seeking anyone who required surgery to remove part or all of an implanted blood filter and anyone with a filter still implanted who has experienced complications that could be attributed to blood filter failures.
Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed against the companies responsible for releasing blood filters with high failure rates. Some of these lawsuits are set for trial dates in late 2016.
The blood filters in question are small, implantable metal devices typically used for patients at risk of a pulmonary embolism or a blood clot to the lung. The filters block blood clots from traveling to the heart or lungs from the legs, a condition known as a deep vein thrombosis. The filters are designed to be retrievable and be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has been reduced.
Blood filter failures can cause serious injuries. When the filters fail, fracture, or break, the pieces could migrate through the veins, causing the puncturing of internal organs, internal bleeding, severe chest pain, spinal pain, and even death. Patients that experience blood filter failures may require open heart surgery, kidney or lung surgery, or surgery on the vascular system.
Blood filters designed and marketed by Bard Peripheral Vascular and Cook Group Incorporated have been found to have an extraordinarily high failure rate. Their high failure rate has been well documented in studies. One study published by the National Institute for Health showed at least 40 percent failure within 5 years. Another study published by the organization showed the Cook Celect® Platinum Vena Cava Filter, had a 100 percent failure rate within 71 months.
All of the complaints have similar allegations. Patients complain that the filter has moved or migrated out of position, puncturing the vein and fracturing, causing small pieces to move through the bloodstream to travel to the heart, lungs or brain.
The FDA issued a warning about the risk of blood filter failures in August 2010 after receiving hundreds of adverse event reports citing catastrophic injury. In May 2014, the FDA strongly recommended the removal of blood filters within one to two months after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed.
The personal injury lawyers say that there’s reason to believe the companies knew about the issues and continued selling the products anyway. According to a recent NBC News investigative report, the manufacturers knew about the problems with blood filter failures for years. If the initial settlement conferences are successful, then a global settlement may be in the cards.