The Seventh Circuit has sent back to court a pair of cases in multidistrict litigation surrounding Cook Medical LLC’s inferior vena cava filters, saying Cook can’t demand that the cases use Indiana’s statute of limitations after previously allowing the MDL to use statutes of the plaintiffs’ home states.
The panel reversed the dismissal of claims brought by Victoria Looper and Sammie Lambert, saying it’s unfair to allow Cook to retroactively revoke its implied consent by applying Indiana’s two-year limit as opposed to the South Carolina and Mississippi three-year statutes.
Looper and Lambert had used the short-form complaint approved for the MDL, under the understanding that their claims were timely under their home states’ statutes, adding that although there was no formal direct-filing order, the MDL had continued for years as if one were in place.
Should Cook wish to revoke its implied consent, it should do so going forward for the entire MDL, not attempt to do so on a case-by-case basis for claims that progressed with the understanding the court would continue to use the statutes of limitations of their home states.
The cases are part of multidistrict litigation comprising a number of suits against Cook and others that were filed in federal court in 11 states, alleging the Cook defendants failed to warn patients of the known dangers and risks associated with the vein filters, produced the “unreasonably dangerous” filters with a design defect, were negligent in their duty of care to patients, and breached the warranty for the filters.
The plaintiffs also assert the Cook defendants recklessly misrepresented the quality and efficacy of the filters and omitted known problems in order to sell them to unsuspecting parties who were subsequently harmed.