A Wisconsin federal jury delivered a $3.3 million verdict in favor of a woman who claimed that a vein filter made by C.R. Bard fractured and a part became embedded in her heart after jurors found that the company was liable for failing to warn of the device’s risks.
Following nine days of trial, the jury came back with the verdict for Natalie Johnson, who had had a Meridian filter implanted in 2013 as a preventive measure for varicose veins. The verdict was for compensatory damages.
Johnson’s February 2019 suit over her Meridian vein filter was remanded from the federal multidistrict litigation in Arizona over Bard inferior vena cava, or IVC, filters to Wisconsin federal court later that same year.
That MDL wound down after Bard reached settlements with thousands of patients, and other suits were remanded to other courts.
In 2018, Bard faced three bellwether trials in the MDL, with two juries clearing Bard and one awarding $3.6 million to the plaintiff.
Three days after she was implanted with the filter, she experienced abdominal pain and a CT scan showed that the filter had already tilted and one strut had perforated her inferior vena cava.
An x-ray a year later showed that the filter had tilted even more and two struts had fractured, one strut remaining in the inferior vena cava and the other in the right ventricle of her heart.
Her surgeon made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the filter in 2014, but four years later, another surgeon was able to take out the filter and one of the struts, but left in place the one in her right ventricle.
The surgery also caused another strut to fracture and become embedded in Johnson’s inferior vena cava wall. This, too, was left in place, putting her at risk of complications in the future.