Patricia and Kenneth Ashcraft of Indiana have filed an IVC filter case against Indiana-based Cook Medical, Inc., a/k/a Cook Medical Group. The Ashcrafts’ petition was filed July 27, 2016 in Marion County Superior Court.
IVC Filter Perforation
The lawsuit petition states that plaintiff Patricia Ashcraft was implanted with a Cook IVC filter on or about April 5, 2005. In May 2016, doctors discovered the Cook filter had perforated her IVC. The lawsuit further alleges that Mrs. Ashcraft is now at risk for future Cook filter fractures, migrations, perforations and tilting. It charges that she faces numerous health risks, including the risk of death. Further, for the rest of her life, she will require ongoing medical monitoring as well as anti-coagulants.
IVC filters are designed to filter blood clots (called “thrombi”) that would otherwise travel from the lower portions of the body to the heart and lungs. IVC filters may be designed to be implanted either temporarily or permanently within the vena cava.
The inferior vena cava is a vein that returns blood to the heart from the lower portion of the body. In certain people thrombi travel from vessels in the legs and pelvis through the vena cava into the lungs. These thrombi often develop in the deep leg veins, causing “deep vein thrombosis” or DVT. An IVC filter such as the Cook filter is designed to prevent thromboembolic events by filtering or preventing blood clots/thrombi from traveling to the heart and/or lungs.
The Indiana lawsuit petition says the Cook filter has caused Mrs. Ashcraft to undergo medical treatment as a result of the device’s failure.
The petition reads: “Plaintiff has incurred significant medical expenses and has endured physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses, some of which are permanent in nature. As a result of the failure of the Cook Filter, Plaintiff has become impaired and will remain so in the future. The defective Cook Filter remains in Plaintiff’s body.”
The lawsuit counts are Negligence, Strict Product Liability – Failure to Warn, Strict Product Liability – Defective Design, Breach of Express & Implied Warranty, Negligent Misrepresentation, Medical Monitoring, Punitive Damages, Loss of Consortium.
Medical Monitoring Case
The petition also makes a medical monitoring claim that intermittent imaging studies are needed to determine whether the Cook Filter has failed. Such imaging studies typically include computed tomography scan (CT Scan) to visualize the filter. CT Scan imaging produces an image of the filter to show whether it has fractured or migrated.
The petition also says that patients requiring medical monitoring are recommended to undergo regular and frequent imaging studies of the device or portions of it at least once or twice annually. It charges that the potential for future device failure exists as long as the device, or portions of it, remains within the patient’s body. Consequently, IVC filter patients require regular and frequent medical monitoring for the duration of the device’s life inside them.
Indiana IVC Filter Case Filed
Attorney David Matthews of Matthews & Associates represents the plaintiffs. The case is Patricia Ashcraft and Kenneth Ashcraft v. Cook Incocporated, Inc., Cook Incorporated, Inc. a/k/a et. al in Marion County Superior Court, cause no. 49D101607CT026764.