The federal judge presiding over the Bard IVC filter multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of Arizona has confirmed the next three cases that will go before juries during the bellwether process with trials starting in September 2018, November 2018, and February 2019.
Currently, the federal MDL is more than 3,500 cases strong. These individuals allege that Bard IVC filters are patently defective and prone to failure. Consequently, plaintiffs maintain they suffered significant injuries when these removable blood clot filters moved out of position or fractured, shooting metal shards throughout the body and puncturing internal organs.
District Judge David G. Campbell issued the case management order June 28, dictating which cases would be going to trial and when. Carol Kruse, Lisa and Mark Hyde, and Debra Mulkey will get their chance to take Bard to task for its negligent IVC filter manufacturing and designs, as well as its reckless marketing practices. They go to trial in September, November, and February respectively.
Bard IVC Filter Bellwethers and Broader Litigation
The first Bard IVC filter bellwether trial began in March 2018. The jury returned with a $3.6 million verdict for the plaintiff. Judge Campbell recently upheld this award during post-trial motions. However, the second trial last month ended in a verdict for the defense.
Originally, the court had slated Mulkey’s claim to go to trial on September 18, 2018. However, Judge Campbell indicates that health issues made her availability for that trial unpredictable. Rather than pushing back the trial date, the court has replaced her claim with the Kruse case and set Mulkey’s for trial in February 2019.
The outcomes of these early test trials do not directly affect remaining claims in the litigation. However, they allow parties on both sides to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of their individual cases and may eventually guide Bard IVC filter settlement negotiations, which would circumvent the need for thousands of separate additional trials nationwide.
Outside of the Bard IVC filter MDL, thousands of additional IVC filter lawsuits are currently pending against Cook Medical in a separate MDL over similar design defect allegations. This past month, a Texas jury awarded $1.2 million in damages to a firefighter who suffered injuries from a Cook Celect Filter.