Plaintiff have requested that an Indiana federal court set pretrial deadlines on the same schedule for the lawsuits involving Cook Medical Inc.’s Celect vein filters for the three bellwethers cases selected in Vein-Filter multidistrict litigation (MDL) Plaintiffs are arguing that if the first trial should be delayed or canceled, the other two bellwether cases should be able to move forward.
The plaintiffs have urged the court to reject Cook’s plan to stagger pretrial hearings as well as other deadlines. If the first case is settled or needs to be delayed, one of the other two cases should be prepared to take that spot, according to the plaintiffs.
The staggered pretrial hearing may be favorable to Cook Medical, as they may benefit from the resulting delay, but it could leave the court with a month-long gap in its trial schedule. This would leave hundreds of plaintiffs whose cases are pending in this MDL, waiting until possibly mid-2018, to see the first MDL case come to trial.
Plaintiffs have alleged that Cook Celect Vena Cava filters, implanted in the inferior vena cava vein to prevent pulmonary embolisms and work by stopping blood clots from migrating to the heart or lungs, are dangerous and defective. The filters are designed as a temporary measure to be removed when the threat of a blood clot has passed. The major problem is that the filter is complicated, if not impossible, to remove in some cases, and has been known have pieces break, move, or damage the vena cava or adjacent organs.
The plaintiffs urge the courts to have the same deadlines for all three bellwether cases as it will save resources and time and travel, as counsel for both parties would be working on all three cases simultaneously.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have received over 900 adverse event reports involving the inferior vena cava filters (IVFs) since 2005 and have advised health care professionals in 2010 of the importance of being vigilant of the risks linked to the long-term use of the filters.