Despite overwhelming evidence to support the safety and benefits of the Celect™ Vena Cava Filter, a jury in Indianapolis, Indiana, ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Cook plans to appeal the decision on multiple grounds.
“The plaintiff’s attorneys in this case asked for tens of millions of dollars as well as punitive damages. We appreciate the jury’s thoughtful approach and rejection of punitive damages as well as unreasonably high demands for compensatory damages,” said Cynthia Kretz, vice president and general counsel for Cook Medical. “While we respectfully disagree with the compensatory damages and verdict, we appreciate the time and hard work of the jury. We never want to see a patient with a poor outcome and we’re sorry that this patient experienced a very rare complication.”
All medical devices have some level of risk. Physicians choose to use IVC filters based on the benefits of the device outweighing the small percentage of risk for patients that need to prevent potentially life-threatening blood clots. Every patient’s situation is different, and individual factors and risks must be considered when evaluating treatment options. In this case, the plaintiff experienced a rare, but known risk – filter fracture. The Celect IVC filter has a reported fracture rate of less than one percent.
Physicians and companies like Cook worked together to develop vena cava filters to help patients and reduce the risk of deadly pulmonary embolisms. IVC filters are an important option for physicians working to prevent the estimated 100,000 deaths associated with pulmonary embolism each year in the U.S.
“We’ve seen clinical success in preventing recurrent pulmonary embolisms. This was a particularly complex patient case with unique, patient-specific factors. This case does not change our position. Cook is committed to continuing the fight for physician and patient access to this life-saving technology,” said Mark Breedlove, vice president of Cook Medical’s Vascular division. “We are dedicated to providing life-saving treatment options for patients. Our filters have saved thousands of lives and are critical to patient well-being.”
Cook was successful in the first two multi-district litigation cases on its IVC filters, winning a complete jury verdict in its favor in the first case, and Cook won the second through a complete summary judgment verdict.