A California federal jury cleared C.R. Bard of a retired carpenter’s product liability claims alleging the company negligently designed a blood clot-stopping IVC vein filter that easily broke up and sent metal shards into the plaintiff’s lungs and heart.
In light of the jury’s finding on the negligent design claim, the panel didn’t reach the question of whether plaintiff Francis Laloli was harmed by Bard’s alleged negligence, or whether Bard owes Laloli punitive and compensatory damages, according to the verdict form.
The verdict wraps an in-person product liability trial that kicked off Aug. 4 in Oakland, California with Laloli’s counsel, Ben C. Martin of Martin Baughman PLLC, telling jurors that after Bard’s G2x vein filter was implanted in his client, the filter broke, sending unretrievable metal shards into his lungs and creating “a ticking time bomb in his body” that could cause him to bleed out and die at any moment.
Laloli had Bard’s G2x vein filter implanted in 2009 based on the belief that it could be removed, after his doctor recommended it to break up potentially deadly blood clots that could cause deep vein thrombosis.
But since then, the metal filter, which has a head with multiple long metal legs that have small hooks at the ends, has broken up, and fragments have migrated through his heart and one ended up in his lung, where they cannot be retrieved.
Martin argued that Bard put “profit over safety” and used a “legal loophole” to get its G2x vein filter cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, piggy-backing on earlier FDA-approved filter designs, even though Bard employees knew as early as 2006 that the G2x and its predecessors, the G2 and Recovery filters, had serious design flaws and posed deadly risks of breaking up and migrating through the body.
In the end, the jury sided with the company, and cleared it of a negligent design claim.
Laloli’s case is one of thousands filed and litigated in recent years against the company — many of which have been settled — claiming Bard’s IVC filters were defectively designed.