A February 2019 jury decision to award a plaintiff 3 million dollars in damages due to defective design of a Cook IVC filter was based on the concept of proximate cause. Proximate cause is a legal standard to establish fault that does not require establishing that the event was the direct cause of injury, but that it was sufficiently related to the injury in a legal sense.
When dealing with issues such as fragmentation of IVC filters resulting in injury, it can be very difficult to determine the extent of damages caused by the defective device. Though in some cases the fractured remnants puncture a lung or blood vessel, resulting in clear damage to a person’s body, other situations are much less obvious.
In the case decided February 2019, the plaintiff was able to establish that the fractured IVC filter caused significant pain after part of the device migrated near her spine. Surgeries were performed to attempt to remove the metal fragments, but these surgeries were ultimately unsuccessful, leaving her with ongoing symptoms that will likely last the rest of her life.
Apart from the pain, which is all but guaranteed, there could be additional complications as the shards remain in her back. If parts of the device continue to migrate, she could face significant damage to her spine, resulting in major disability. X-Rays can help medical professionals find where the fragments have traveled to, but all too often there are limited options to actually remove them.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious side effects from the fracturing on an IVC filter, it is important that you reach out to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. Holding manufacturers responsible for their defective designs is the only way to force change in a sector of the economy that continues to put profits above patient health.