A federal jury in Indiana last week awarded $3 million in damages to a plaintiff in a bellwether case against Cook Medical over allegedly defective designs in the company’s Celect inferior vena cava filters.
The plaintiff, Tonya Brand, sued Cook in 2014 alleging that the Celect IVC filter implanted prior to a spinal procedure fragmented and sent broken pieces into her thigh and near her spine.
In her suit, Brand included claims for stricter liability and negligent failure to warn, negligent design defect, negligent manufacturing, negligence per se, breach of warranty, loss of consortium and punitive damages. Cook filed for summary judgement, seeking to have the case dismissed.
But testimony from the surgeon who implanted the Celect IVC device in Brand, Dr. Mark Rheudasil, indicated that he wouldn’t have treated Brand any differently, Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana wrote, according to prior court documents.
Last December, Judge Young found that Brand was unable to “establish causation in her strict liability and negligent failure to warn claims,” leaving only strict liability and negligent design defect and negligence per se claims intact.
In its recent decision, the jury ruled that the design of the Celect IVC filter was defective and that the defective design “was the proximate cause” of damage and injury to the patient, according to court documents, granting damages of $3 million.
Cook Medical has not yet officially commented on the decision.
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