A Mississippi woman filed a Cook Select Filter Lawsuit in Mississippi against Cook Medical Inc. 21 January, 2015 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Mississippi, Northern Division. She is represented by Matthews & Associates, a nationwide law firm headquartered in Houston, Texas.
Cook Celect Vena Cava Filter
The Cook Celect Vena Cava Filter – a retrievable filter based on the Gunther Tulip filter – is the subject of the legal complaint. This Cook filter, like other IVC filters, is designed to prevent thromboembolic events by filtering or preventing blood clots/thrombi from traveling to the heart and/or lungs.
Tickner vs. Cook Medical, Inc.
The petition (Tickner v. Cook Medical, Inc.) explains that the IVC filter device is designed to filter blood clots (“thrombi”) that would otherwise migrate from lower portions of the body to the heart and lungs. IVC filters may be designed to be implanted within the inferior vena cava either temporarily or permanently.
The inferior vena cava is a vein that returns blood to the heart from the lower body. In some people, for various reasons, thrombi migrate from vessels in the legs and pelvis, through the vena cava into the lungs. These thrombi often develop in the deep leg veins, manifesting as “deep vein thrombosis” or DVT. Once thrombi reach the lungs they are considered “pulmonary emboli” or PE, which presents a grave risk to human life. PE can kill.
Plaintiff Pat Tickner was implanted with a Cook Celect filter on July 16, 2010. Around August 2012, she began to have inexplicable abdominal pain. It was determined that her IVC filter was clotted; she successfully underwent thrombolysis.
On or around Feb. 19, 2013, she visited the hospital for similar abdominal pain. A CT scan showed a few struts from the filter had migrated and caused the filter to move out of its proper position. In April 2013, she underwent removal of the malpositioned IVC filter, which was causing “severe vena cava stenosis,” according to the petition. While Plaintiff had the Cook Celect filter implanted inside her, she was at risk for tilting, perforations, fractures, migrations. She faces numerous health risks, including the risk of death.
The petition charges that, “(Cook) Defendants knew the Cook Filter was defective and knew that defect was attributable to the design’s failure to withstand the normal anatomical and physiological loading cycles exerted in vivo.”
The petition additional alleges that, “The Defendants failed to disclose to physicians, patients, or Plaintiff that its Cook filter was subject to breakage and migration or the appropriate degree of risk of perforation and damage to the vena cava wall.”
The petition charges Cook on two counts, Strict Product Liability and Negligence.
Count One: Strict Product Liability
Strict Product Liability allegations against Cook in the petition include:
- Defendants continued to promote the Cook Filter as safe and effective even though clinical trials were not adequate to support long or short term efficacy.
- Defendants concealed the known risks and failed to warn of known or scientifically knowable dangers and risks associated with the Cook Filter.
- The Cook filter suffers from a design defect making it unable to withstand normal anatomical and physiological loading cycles exerted in vivo.
- Defendants knew or should have known of the hazardous and dangerous propensities of the filter, and thereby actively participated in the tortuous conduct that resulted in the injuries suffered by the Plaintiff.
- The Cook Filter was dangerous and presented a substantial danger to patients implanted with it, and these risks and dangers were known or knowable at the times of distribution and implantation in Plaintiff Pat Tickner in 2010.
Count Two: Negligence
Negligence charges against Cook include that the filter was designed and made in such a manner so as to:
- present an unreasonable risk of fracture and migration.
- have unreasonable and insufficient strength or structural integrity to withstand normal placement within the body.
- present an unreasonable risk of perforation and damage to the vena cava wall.
The petition also alleges Cook committed one or more breaches of the duty of reasonable care and was negligent in unreasonably and carelessly:
- failing to properly warn of the dangers and risks of harm associated with the Cook Filter, specifically its incidents of fracture, migration, perforation and other failure;
- made a product insufficient in strength or structural integrity to withstand the foreseeable use of normal placement;
- designed a product that presented a risk of harm to the Plaintiff and others similarly situated in that it was prone to fail.
Cook Celect Filter Lawsuit filed in Mississippi
And finally, the petition alleges that, “As a direct and proximate result of the Cook Filter’s defects, (Plaintiff) Pat Tickner suffered significant and severe injuries to her body resulting in significant expenses for medical treatment, as well as incurred a substantial loss of earnings, as well as non-economic damages.”