Last week, an Arizona federal court denied Bard’s request for a new trial or judgment on the April verdict. The company argued that the “evidence underpinning the award was lacking and called the verdict ‘irreconcilably inconsistent,’ since the jury sided with plaintiff Sherri Booker on a negligent failure to warn claim but not on a nearly identical strict liability failure to warn claim.” District Judge David G. Campbell disagreed with Bard’s arguments calling them off-base. Not only was there sufficient evidence in the trial but the jury was within its rights to distinguish the two claims and find fault in one and not the other. Booker’s trial was the first bellwether trial over Bard’s IVC filters. Bellwether trials are used to give attorneys on both sides of the issue assess the relative strength or weaknesses of the claims, acting as a guide for attempts to forge a settlement.
Earlier this year, a woman was awarded over $3 million after sustaining injuries from an IVC filter. The verdict comes almost four years after she initially suffered complications from the medical device. Jurors found the manufacturer 80% responsible for the device complications.
According to Drugwatch, Sherr-Una Booker had an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter implanted on June 21, 2007, to prevent blood clots in preparation for scheduled surgery to remove a cancerous mass. The filter, made by C.R. Bard, migrated and damaged several parts of her inferior vena cava, which carries blood from the lower body to the heart. She was hospitalized in 2014 due to the complications caused by the IVC filter and underwent an open-heart surgery to remove the floating pieces. Parts of the filter are still in her body and she fears she will have to undergo another surgery in the future.
Booker accused the filter’s manufacturer, C.R. Bard, of failing to warn doctors of the high failure rates of the medical device. A federal jury in Phoenix ordered C.R. Bard to pay $2 million for failure to warn about the device’s dangers and an additional $2 million in punitive damages. Approximately $400,000 of that will be “shouldered by the radiologist who missed clear signs that the G2 filter was beginning to fracture when he X-rayed Booker earlier in 2009.” Booker’s attorney believes that “Bard’s failure to tell physicians what they knew about the failure of the product they were marketing and selling,” played a key role in the jury’s decision on an amount for punitive damages.
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There are 3,639 pending lawsuits involving injuries sustained from IVC filters against C.R. Bard as of March 15. This trial was not only a win for the Plaintiff but also marks progress in litigations involving C.R. Bard, providing a guide to upcoming settlement negotiations.
If you have sustained a personal injury from C.R. Bard’s IVC filter and still have the filter implanted, seek follow up imaging from your medical providers. This imaging can be critical to determining if your IVC filter is tilted, fractured, embedded, or perforated. Not only can this imaging strengthen your case, it may also prove to be lifesaving or help deter serious injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a result of a faulty medical device, call one of our attorneys at Schneider Hammers. We’re committed to holding medical manufacturers responsible.