A federal appeals court rejected C.R. Bard’s appeal for a $3.6 million jury award to be overturned over complications caused by a fractured Bard IVC filter. Currently, Bard faces over 3,500 IVC filter lawsuits in the federal courts over claims that Bard’s IVC filters were defectively designed.
The jury’s $3.6 million verdict was awarded in 2018 after hearing the claims of Sherr-Una Booker, who had a Bard G2 Vena Cava filter fracture inside of her and cause severe injuries. Based on the evidence of Booker’s case, the jury ordered Bard to pay $1.6 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages for disregarding the safety of consumers.
Bard challenged the federal jury’s verdict, claiming that there were no grounds for the punitive damages in this claim. Booker’s case was one of the Bard litigation’s early “bellwether” cases, used to help parties gauge how juries will respond to evidence and testimony repeatedly brought up throughout the litigation.
However, according to an opinion issued August 13, 2020, a panel of federal judges rejected Bard’s appeal, rejecting every argument presented and upholding the full verdict amount.
“The panel held that Bard’s preemption argument failed because plaintiff’s claim rested on an asserted state-law duty to warn of the risks posed by the particular design of Bard’s G2 Filter, and the FDA had not imposed any requirements related to the design of that device or how a device of that design should be labeled,” the judges stated in the opinion.
Bard IVC Filter Lawsuits
Throughout this massive litigation, plaintiffs have raised similar claims that Bard’s small blood clot filters were prone to fracture, migrate out of position, and cause potentially life-threatening injuries in patients. Defective IVC filters can cause severe complications including pulmonary embolus, hemorrhage, respiratory compromise, and even death.
Injured individuals claim the fractures and migration of Bard’s IVC filters were caused by design defects the manufacturer knew about and ignored. Since Booker’s verdict, Bard as reached IVC filter settlements that resolved thousands of cases. However, Bard continues to face a sizable number of individual claims in the U.S. District Courts nationwide, which have been scheduled for trial dates in the upcoming months and years.