A woman from North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against William Cook Europe ApS and Cook Medical LLC. The plaintiff, Teresa Marie B., alleges that she was injured by the company’s Celect Inferior Vena Cava Filter (IVC Filter).
The plaintiff had the filter surgically implanted in her vein to prevent pulmonary embolisms or blood clots in the lungs. The procedure was performed at Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Dr. Joseph Fulton in 2014.
The lawsuit accuses Cook Medical of negligence for failing to warn of the safety risks of the filter and for selling a defective medical device.
The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
The case will be centralized along with more than 3,500 other lawsuits related to IVC filters that have been filed against Cook Medical in federal Multi-District Litigation in Indiana.
In November of last year, Cook Medical won a unanimous verdict in its first IVC filter bellwether trial. The verdict came after a three-week trial in which a Florida woman blamed the company’s Celect IVC filter for her injuries.
The woman, Elizabeth Jane Hill, claimed that her implanted IVC filter punctured her vena cava vein and eventually became embedded in her intestine. She claimed that doctors could not remove the filter, which caused her to suffer gastrointestinal symptoms, diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
The lawsuit claimed that Cook Medical knew the devices were defective, but they failed to warn patients and doctors of the potential risks.
Plaintiffs in the thousands of lawsuits against Cook claim that the filters, which are implanted into the body’s most prominent vein, can break or come loose and damage organs or blood vessels. Some lawsuits blame the alleged faulty filters for the deaths of patients.
The FDA issued safety notices in 2010 and again in 2014 about the risks of leaving retrievable IVC filters in place for too long.