Cook Medical is headquartered in Indiana, but the implanting doctor practices in Texas; so the plaintiff has exercised his right to demand a jury trial in Harris County. The plaintiff’s claims in the action were also brought solely under state law. The petition states that the “Plaintiff does not herein bring, assert, or allege, either expressly or impliedly, any causes of action arising under any federal law, statute, regulation, or provision. Thus,” it argues, “there is no federal jurisdiction in this action on the basis of a federal question under 28 U.S.C. section 1331.”
The plaintiff was surgically implanted with an IVC filter in 2015, by Dr. Adrian A. Wong, a specialist in Interventional Radiology. Dr. Wong implanted a Cook Celect Inferior Vena Cava Filter in the plaintiff.
Failed Removal Attempts
Seven weeks later, on or about April 23, 2015, surgeons attempted to remove the Celect IVC filter but were unable to remove it. According to the petition, the filter had tilted and imbedded into the wall of the plaintiff’s vena cava. Another removal attempt was made June 2015, but was also unsuccessful. A leg or strut of the IVC filter had protruded through the man’s vena cava wall and lodged in a position adjacent to his aorta, according to the petition.
The man is now at risk for future migrations, perforations, and/or fractures from the irremovable filter, charges the petition. He also faces numerous health risks from the retained filter, including increased risk of blood clots and the risk of death. He will require ongoing medical care and monitoring for the rest of his life and may ultimately require more surgery in further attempts to remove the filter.
The Doctor’s Responsibility Alleged
The petition further alleges that the doctor knew or should have known, inter alia, that only certain patients were proper candidates for an IVC filter, and the doctor also should have known that:
- the longer a Celect IVC remains in the body, the higher the risk of device fracture or failure
- the Celect IVC filter is not effective to prevent clots and/or increases the risks of clots
- safer alternatives to the Celect IVC filter existed
- Celect filters frequently tilt, migrate, perforate, fracture, and thus involve a high increasing degree of risk to a patient implanted
Lack of Clinical Testing, Contraindications
The petition further claims Cook failed to conduct any clinical testing, such as animal studies; that Cook knew or should have known the Celect filter had a high rate of fracture, migration, and excessive tilting and perforation of the vena cava wall once implanted. It further claims that Cook knew or should have known such failures exposed patients to serious injuries that include death, hemorrhage, cardiac/pericardial tamponade, cardiac arrhythmia, and other symptoms similar to myocardial infarction – severe and persistent pain, perforations of tissue, vessels, and organs; and inability to remove the device. Cook also knew or should have known certain conditions or post-implant procedures such as morbid obesity or open abdominal procedure could affect the safety and integrity of the Celect IVC Filter.
The petition also claims Cook should have known these risks for the Celect were and are substantially higher than other similar devices. The petition also alleges that Cook failed to issue a recall of the Celect Filter and failed to notify customers that a safer device was available.
Texas IVC Filter Case Filed
The case is No. 201703885 in Harris County District Court. Defendants are Adrian A. Wong, M.D.; Cook Incorporated; a/k/a Cook Medical, (LLC). Attorney David Matthews of Matthews & Associates Law Firm represents the plaintiff.