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Thousands of Bard IVC filter lawsuits weathered a motion to dismiss after a federal judge rejected the medical device maker’s argument that the litigation was preempted by federal law.

C.R. Bard was hit with thousands of lawsuits after patients and doctors complained of severe medical complications and side effects after being implanted with the company’s retrievable filters.

The Bard IVC filter lawsuits were centralized in federal court in Arizona under U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell.

The litigation alleges that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Bard IVC filters in 2003 “despite lack of adequate testimony on the safety and efficacy of the new line of devices.”

Since then, patients and doctors claim numerous problems have been associated with Bard IVC filters.

Further, according to the lawsuits, there is no evidence that the retrievable filters actually prevent the very problem they were created to treat – pulmonary embolism. 

The Bard IVC filter lawsuits alleged that the medical device maker was well aware of the problems presented by the filters, but hid evidence of the problems from regulators, doctors and patients.

C.R. Bard tried to dismiss the thousands of lawsuits that were centralized in Arizona federal court by arguing that claims under state law are prevented by federal law.

Judge Campbell disagreed, pointing out that since Bard IVC filters were approved using a “fast-track” procedure under FDA regulations, the device maker was able to dodge extensive testing requirements that may have actually preempted the state law claims.

Thus, under state law, the company could have met state law labeling requirements that plaintiffs allege Bard flouted by failing to disclose the severe risks associated with the IVC filters.

“Bard has failed to show that it is impossible to make any labeling changes that may be required by state law. Indeed, Bard acknowledges that the FDA previously has cleared labeling changes to Bard IVC filters and in one instance found that no 510(k) was needed,” stated the judge in his order dismissing Bard’s motion for summary judgment. “Bard’s impossibility preemption defense is without merit.”

Judge Campbell’s decision to toss Bard’s motion to dismiss the litigation clears the way for additional proceedings. A number of cases will be tried to see how juries react to testimony that Bard IVC filters are prone to fracture and migration as well as perforation of tissue, as alleged by the plaintiffs.

According to the Bard IVC filter lawsuits, patients and doctors were unaware of the risk of severe medical implications after being implanted with the devices, including:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia and other symptoms like myocardial infarction
  • Severe and persistent pain
  • Perforations of tissue, vessels and organs
  • Hemorrhage
  • Cardiac/pericardial tamponade (pressure caused by a collection of blood in the area around the heart)
  • Death

If you or a loved one received a Bard IVC filter and have experienced complications, consider contacting an attorney.

The attorneys at McDonald Worley are currently investigating Bard IVC filter claims and will provide you with a free case evaluation.