IVC Litigation Update

There are now more than 8,000 IVC filter lawsuits pending in two federal courts.  The lawsuits all claim that the manufacturers of various IVC filters were both negligent in the design and manufacturing of the filters as well as failed to warn patients of the dangers of IVC filters. The largest two manufacturers of IVC filters are C.R. Bard Inc. and Cook Medical.  There are also two smaller manufacturers named Cordis Inc. and Argon/Rex Medical Inc.

All of the cases against Bard and Cook Medical have now been centralized in what is called a multidistrict litigation (MDL) before Judge Young in Indianapolis, Indiana (Cook IVC MDL) and Judge Campbell in Phoenix, Arizona (Bard IVC MDL).  The Cordis cases are filed in state court in California and the cases against Argon/Rex Medical are filed in state court in Philadelphia.

A bellwether trial is a case that the court and the parties select to test their arguments, with the goal of moving the overall litigation towards resolution.  Bellwether cases generally have facts that are typical and representative of other cases in the wider litigation, and the outcome of a bellwether trial often informs the parties on whether they will continue to litigate or settle their claims.  The court selects a bellwether case from a pool of cases that each side proposes. If these bellwether trials result in verdicts for the plaintiffs, they may set the stage for potential settlement discussions, but there is no guarantee this will occur.  If the bellwether trials result in verdicts in favor of the defendant, the defendants usually argue that the cases are not as valuable as an individual plaintiff may have previously thought.

On March 30, 2018, the first bellwether trial involving an IVC filter was tried before a jury in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Phoenix jury awarded $3.6 million in damages to the plaintiff in the first C. R. Bard IVC bellwether trial (the case was Booker v. Bard).  The second Bard bellwether trial took place a few weeks later, and on June 1, 2018, a jury ruled in Bard’s favor. Finally, Bard was granted summary judgement in the third bellwether trial because the judge determined the statute of limitations had expired on the plaintiff’s claim (i.e., they waited too long to file their lawsuit after suffering an injury and the case was dismissed in favor of Bard).

In the Cook MDL, the first and second bellwether trials were dismissed because the judge ruled the plaintiff had waited too long after surgery to file suit.  A third bellwether trial against Cook goes to trial in January 2019.  In March 2018, a separate lawsuit against Cook that was filed in state court in Texas returned a $1.2 million dollar verdict against Cook which is now being appealed.  In short, Cook has been fairly successful at getting the bellwether cases dismissed before trial but will likely need to try a few more cases in the federal MDL before any talks of a settlement are likely.

Moze Cowper named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Essure litigation

On March 27, 2018, Moze Cowper and Cowper Law LLP were named as one of six law firms in the country to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (“EDPA”) before Judge Padova.  There are currently over one thousand five hundred Essure cases filed in the EDPA and over sixteen thousand cases filed across the United States.

Moze Cowper Brought in as Co-Counsel by Hausfeld in Foreign Exchange Antitrust Litigation

On March 10, 2016, Moze Cowper was brought in as co-counsel with Hausfeld and Scott + Scott to assist in the settlement of The Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation.  The complaint alleges that the world’s largest financial institutions conspired to manipulate prices paid in the $5.3-trillion-per-day foreign exchange market from 2003 to present. The case is currently pending before Judge Lorna G. Schofield in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

On December 15, 2015, Judge Schofield granted plaintiffs’ motion to preliminarily approve nine settlements in the case. These settlements with Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, RBS, and UBS recover more than $2 billion for the plaintiff class.

Mr. Cowper was brought in as an expert in European data privacy and international e-discovery in order to assist in the preliminary settlement approval process and help build a legitimization plan for the transfer of certain information sought by the plaintiffs that is also governed by data privacy laws abroad.

Mr. Cowper is a Senior Editor on the Sedona Conference’s publication: International Principles on Discovery, Disclosure & Data Protection: Best Practices, Recommendations & Principles for Addressing the Preservation Discovery of Protected Data in U.S. Litigation.  He has also authored numerous articles on international discovery and has been a faculty member for the Sedona Conference for over a decade.

Dr. Steven Wang’s Recent Study on IVC Filters

On April 5th, 2016, Dr. Steven Wang presented at the annual Society of Interventional Radiology in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Wang is an interventional radiologist from Palo Alto, California and is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. In a retrospective study involving 96 patients he sought to understand the prevalence of long-term (greater than 46 month) complications of both permanent and retrievable IVC filters (IVCFs).Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 11.57.34 AM

The study looked at all inferior vena cava filters implanted in patients from January 2007 through December 2009 at multiple health care facilities across the United States. Dr. Wang then identified all patients who had imaging of the filter taken at four years or more after implantation.  Of those patients (96), he then evaluated the imaging to determine whether or not the IVC filter had malfunctioned.

After reviewing the data, the authors concluded that device complications at four or more years after implantation “are relatively common.”  They also found that the Cordis OptEase and Trapease IVC filters suffered fracture rates of 37.5% and 23.1%, respectively.

Cowper Law has filed over a dozen lawsuits against the manufacturers of IVC filters in the last month.  A growing body of scientific research indicates that the risks of IVC filter implantation far outweighs any benefits.  If you have been implanted with an IVC filter, please call us at 877.LAW.3707 so we can discuss filing a lawsuit on your behalf.

NBC News Special Report — IVC filters

In a follow up to their earlier investigation, NBC Nightly News reported last week that IVC filters manufactured by CR Bard continue to cause patients to suffer major injuries.

What was most compelling about the report, though, was the interview with Dr. William Kuo at Stanford. Dr. Kuo has gained a reputation in the vascular surgery world as being one of the only surgeons willing to remove IVC filters that have become deeply imbedded in the vena cava — and which other surgeons are unwilling to remove for fear of losing the patient. He has never testified on behalf of a plaintiff and yet he had incredibly strong words for the manufacturer of the G2 filter.

“All of the data that we’ve seen in our own studies, as well as other clinician researchers’, is that this device consistently fractures, consistently causes major complications,” said Dr. William Kuo. “The number of complications, the frequency of severe failures makes it obvious that it was never safe to be implanted.”

indication-for-iv-filter-prepic-study

The report went on to find that: “confidential company records obtained by NBC News show that New Jersey-based medical device giant C.R. Bard was concerned about reports of failures for its G2 series filters, designed to replace the company’s Recovery filter, within four months of being cleared to sell the G2 by the Food and Drug Administration. A company that made a blood-clot filter associated with 27 deaths and hundreds of problems replaced the device with a modified version that it knew had similar and potentially fatal flaws soon after it was put on the market. But instead of recalling the G2 filter, and the virtually identical G2 Express, the medical device manufacturer decided to keep them on the market for five years, until 2010, selling more than 160,000 of them.”

To read the full report, click here: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/lehmann.pdf

A confidential memo written in December 2005 by a Bard vice president soon after the G2 was cleared by the FDA shows his concern about “problems with…migration,” “tilting” and “perforation.” The Bard executive also noted that Bard had another filter on the market that had virtually no complaints. “Why shouldn’t doctors be using that one rather than the G2?” he asked.

If you have been injured by an IVC filter, please contact Cowper Law at 877.LAW.3707. This firm has recently filed a dozen lawsuits against both C.R. Bard and Cook Medical Inc. in both MDL proceedings. We are very active in this litigation. Email Moze Cowper at: mcowper@cowperlaw.com to discuss your potential claim.

Click here to watch the NBC report:
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/why-did-firm-keep-selling-problem-blood-clot-filters-n488166

LA’s Best Friends Board raises over $109,000 for after school program

Moze Cowper is a member of the LA’s Best Friends Board. This blog post was shamelessly and proudly posted by him.

The 6th annual CYCLE 4 LA’s BEST fundraising event took place over the weekend at Esperanza Elementary on April 26th, 2015. The Sunday fundraiser, sponsored by Wendy’s of LA, was a HUGE success, as we surpassed our goal of $100,000 thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 100 dedicated LA’s BEST supporters who cycled to raise money for the organization.LA’s Best Cycle Event

Led by the Cycle Committee and our BEST Friends Board, CYCLE 4 LA’s BEST teams pedaled for 50 minutes in 90-degree heat as funds from their supporters continued to roll in throughout the day, and by Monday, the event raised over $109,000 for LA’s BEST After School Program!

When teams weren’t pedaling, the participants enjoyed a reception sponsored by a variety of companies, including BUICED, Just Chill, Clif Bar, Simply Salad, Invigorade, WTRMLN WTR, Le Bon Garcon, and Aquahydrate. LA’s BEST students also were in attendance and joined in the fun, cheering on the cyclists and participating in fun physical activities led by BEST Fit, the nutrition and physical fitness program of LA’s BEST.

In between cycling, participants, supporters and kids enjoyed music from our very own DJ AmRo and even had the chance to strike a pose at the step and repeat!

You can continue to donate towards CYCLE 4 LA’s BEST by clicking here: https://secure.qgiv.com/hobnob/event/151173

Moze Cowper Moderates Panel on Changes to the Federal Rules at Georgetown Law

On November 19th, 2015, Mr. Cowper moderated a panel on proportionality and e-discovery at Georgetown Law’s Advanced E-discovery Institute. The Panel was comprised of John Rosenthal (Winston & Strawn), Aaron Crews (AGC at Walmart), Ariana Tadler (Milberg LLP) and U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer.

The Advanced eDiscovery Institute has gained a reputation among judges, practitioners, and vendors as the leading eDiscovery conference of its kind in the United States. Now in its twelfth year, this program, planned by a national Advisory Board, gives attendees access to more federal judges than any similar program and provides the opportunity to learn at an advanced level from the leading eDiscovery practitioners and academics from across the country. A combination of plenary sessions and targeted break-out sessions allows attendees to craft your their learning experience. Attendees will be exposed to the latest case law, trends in all aspects of eDiscovery, and judicial and practitioner perspectives on where this fascinating world is heading in the next few years.

Check out: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/continuing-legal-education/programs/cle/ediscovery-institute/

NBC News Report raises Serious Questions about C.R. Bard’s IVC Filter

Following a year-long investigation, an NBC Nightly News two-part report has raised significant questions about medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc.’s decision to continue to market and sell its inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, even after it became aware that its filters were failing and causing death and other serious injuries at higher rates than other similar devices.

The NBC report, titled “Did Blood-Clot Filter Used on Thousands of Americans Have Fatal Flaw?”, associated 27 deaths and 300 problems to failures associated with C.R. Bard, Inc.’s Recovery model IVC filters. The report also questioned why Bard did not recall the Recovery filters once a confidential study commissioned by Bard “urgently” urged further investigation of the device’s performance. Instead of informing the public about these problems or issuing a recall, Bard put profits over people, hiring a PR firm that circulated a crisis management plan warning about unfavorable press damaging Bard’s stock prices. A link to the NBC report is here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/did-blood-clot-filter-used-thousands-americans-have-fatal-flaw-n384536

The second part of the report, “Did Forged Signature Clear Way for Dangerous Blood-Clot Filter?”, raises serious questions about how Bard obtained FDA clearance for the Recovery filter. It details how the Recovery filter was originally rejected for FDA clearance, causing Bard to hire Kay Fuller, a veteran FDA specialist, to help Bard re-submit its FDA clearance application. After Bard failed to give her important performance safety test results, and following results from a small human clinical trial which raised red flags, Fuller grew concerned. Fuller told her boss she would not sign Bard’s FDA application until her concerns were addressed. Nevertheless, the report continues, her signature is on the FDA application. Fuller claims the signature on the application which was represented to be hers is not, in fact, hers, and was signed and submitted without her knowledge. A link to the second part of the report is here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/heart-health/did-forged-signature-clear-way-dangerous-medical-device-n417246

Cowper Law currently represents a number of individuals implanted with Bard IVC filters who have suffered injuries as a result. It is believed that over 20,000 people remain implanted with Bard Recovery filters, or the G2 model which replaced the Recovery. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of being implanted with a Bard IVC filter, please contact Cowper Law at:

887.LAW.3707

We are here to fight for you.