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Siskinds LLP seeks to recover compensation for Canadians implanted with IVC Filters and who suffered related injuries. 

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the Notice of Certification of the Cook IVC Filters class action on November 3, 2020. A copy of the long-form notice is available here and includes instructions for opting out of the action and information about the deadline to opt out. It is important that you read the notice carefully, as it may affect your legal rights.

IVC (inferior vena cava) Filters are small metal medical devices designed to trap blood clots passing through the IVC. The IVC is a large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. IVC Filters are implanted in persons at risk of developing blood clots, often after a major surgery. Most IVC Filters are intended to be retrievable, meaning a physician will remove the device after the risk of developing blood clots has subsided. However, IVC filters may cause serious injuries.

IVC Filters May Cause Serious Injuries

According to various research studies and reports made to the FDA, IVC Filters may cause serious side effects and injuries, including:

  • Death
  • Migration of the filter to another area of the body
  • Perforation of the inferior vena cava or another vein or organ
  • Fracture of the filter (the struts of the filter may break loose, travel in the bloodstream and become lodged in another vein or organ)
  • Embolization of the filter (movement of the entire filter or filter fragments to the heart or lungs)
  • Tilting of the filter
  • Difficulty or inability to remove the filter

In 2014, the FDA issued a Safety Communication recommending that IVC Filters be removed between 29 to 54 days after implantation. The FDA relied on a 2013 study that concluded that “the risks of complications start to outweigh the protective benefits of the filter at day 35 post implantation.”

Siskinds LLP’s class action alleges that the defendant failed to adequately warn individuals that the use of IVC Filters increases the risk of serious injuries and complications, in particular when the device cannot be retrieved.

Siskinds, Desmeules, the Quebec firm affiliated with Siskinds filed similar class actions in Quebec against two manufacturers of IVC filters : Cook Medical and Bard.

Are You Part of the IVC Filter Class Action?

If you were implanted with an IVC Filter, we encourage you to join Siskinds LLP’s IVC Filter Class Action. Please email [email protected] or call us toll-free, at 1-800-461-6166.

Watch NBC News’ investigative report on the serious risks of IVC Filters here.

Developments

Bard IVC Filters class action

A proposed class action was commenced in Ontario alleging that Bard retrievable IVC Filters, designed to trap blood clots passing through the IVC (a large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart), were negligently designed, manufactured, and distributed, resulting in increased complications as compared to other treatment options. Bard denies these allegations.

The parties have reached an agreement to discontinue the Ontario class action. The discontinuance was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The discontinuance relates to the Bard IVC Filters class action only. It does not relate to claims against other manufacturers.

If you received a Bard IVC Filter and wish to pursue legal action, you may still be able to do so either through currently pending class actions in Saskatchewan and British Columbia or by way of an individual action. Siskinds can provide you with further information regarding your options. If you were implanted with an IVC Filter, we encourage you to email [email protected] or call us toll-free, at 1-800-461-6166.

Cook IVC Filters class action

A proposed class action was commenced in Ontario in 2016 about retrievable IVC filters manufactured by Cook (Canada) Inc., Cook Medical LLC, Cook Medical Incorporated Cook Incorporated, Cook Group, Inc. and William Cook Europe APS.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice initially denied certification of the Cook IVC Filters class action on October 31, 2018. The plaintiffs appealed, and that the Divisional Court of Ontario partially allowed the appeal on January 8, 2020 and certified the class action with respect to claims of an alleged breach of the duty to warn learned intermediaries (the doctors who recommended the products) of the dangers of the filters.

Cook sought leave to appeal the decision of the Divisional Court. On July 9, 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed Cook’s motion for leave.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the Notice of Certification of the Cook IVC Filters class action on November 3, 2020. A copy of the long-form notice is available here and includes instructions for opting out of the action and information about the deadline to opt out. It is important that you read the notice carefully, as it may affect your legal rights.

Class actions stayed in Quebec

Both of the proceedings in Quebec against the manufacturers of IVC Filters were stayed in favor of the Ontario Class Actions. The action against Bard was stayed on February 3, 2017 and the action against Cook Medical was stayed on December 20, 2017.

The Cook proceedings are stayed until a decision is reached on the certification of the Ontario Class Action.

With the discontinuance of the Bard class action in Ontario, a discontinuance was also sought in the Bard class action in Quebec. By a decision dated January 19, 2021, the Québec superior Court elected to grant a further stay of the Québec action, pending the decision on the certification motions of parallel class action proceedings actively litigated in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. A copy of the Québec stay notice can be found here.

FAQs

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the IVC Filter class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “class member” if you are implanted with an IVC Filter.

You might also be affected by the class action if you are a family member of the “class member” (i.e., you are the parent, sibling, etc. of the person implanted with the IVC Filter.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes. Once the class action has been authorized, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of the class action within a period of time to be determined by the Court. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any compensation awarded under a settlement agreement or court order. You may however pursue your own action on an individual basis.

Generally, class members will wish to exclude themselves from a class action if they intend to bring their own individual action. In the majority of cases, it will be more economical to participate in the class action because the legal costs will be shared among a very large number of people.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  • Keep a record of medical expenses incurred—appointments not covered by your provincial health care provider, prescriptions, medical devices, etc.
  • Keep a record of all medical treatments, including the names and contact information of the health care provider (doctor, surgeon, physiotherapist etc.).
  • If possible, keep a journal of symptoms and note down any times when you are unable to attend work or school as a result of your symptoms.

If you have not done so already, contact Siskinds in order that we can contact your health care providers to obtain relevant medical and pharmacy records. As time passes, it can be more difficult to collect this information. All personal information provided to Siskinds regarding any injuries/symptoms you may have suffered will be kept private and confidential.

If you are a family member of the “class member”, you should keep a record of:

  • Any expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the class member.
  • Travel expenses incurred in visiting the class member during his or her treatment or recovery.
  • Any services provided for the class member as a result of the injury (i.e., nursing, housekeeping).
  • If the class member is deceased, any funeral expenses reasonably incurred.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have a question, please complete the form on this page or call 1-800-461-6166.

For French enquiries, please contact our Quebec affiliated firm Siskinds, Desmeules by phone at 418-694-2009 or the toll free number 1-877-735-3842 or by email at [email protected].

Bard IVC Filters class action

A proposed class action was commenced in Ontario alleging that Bard retrievable IVC Filters, designed to trap blood clots passing through the IVC (a large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart), were negligently designed, manufactured, and distributed, resulting in increased complications as compared to other treatment options. Bard denies these allegations.

The parties have reached an agreement to discontinue the Ontario class action. The discontinuance was approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The discontinuance relates to the Bard IVC Filters class action only. It does not relate to claims against other manufacturers.

If you received a Bard IVC Filter and wish to pursue legal action, you may still be able to do so either through currently pending class actions in Saskatchewan and British Columbia or by way of an individual action. Siskinds can provide you with further information regarding your options. If you were implanted with an IVC Filter, we encourage you to email [email protected] or call us toll-free, at 1-800-461-6166.

Cook IVC Filters class action

A proposed class action was commenced in Ontario in 2016 about retrievable IVC filters manufactured by Cook (Canada) Inc., Cook Medical LLC, Cook Medical Incorporated Cook Incorporated, Cook Group, Inc. and William Cook Europe APS.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice initially denied certification of the Cook IVC Filters class action on October 31, 2018. The plaintiffs appealed, and that the Divisional Court of Ontario partially allowed the appeal on January 8, 2020 and certified the class action with respect to claims of an alleged breach of the duty to warn learned intermediaries (the doctors who recommended the products) of the dangers of the filters.

Cook sought leave to appeal the decision of the Divisional Court. On July 9, 2020, the Court of Appeal dismissed Cook’s motion for leave.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the Notice of Certification of the Cook IVC Filters class action on November 3, 2020. A copy of the long-form notice is available here and includes instructions for opting out of the action and information about the deadline to opt out. It is important that you read the notice carefully, as it may affect your legal rights.

Class actions stayed in Quebec

Both of the proceedings in Quebec against the manufacturers of IVC Filters were stayed in favor of the Ontario Class Actions. The action against Bard was stayed on February 3, 2017 and the action against Cook Medical was stayed on December 20, 2017.

The Cook proceedings are stayed until a decision is reached on the certification of the Ontario Class Action.

With the discontinuance of the Bard class action in Ontario, a discontinuance was also sought in the Bard class action in Quebec. By a decision dated January 19, 2021, the Québec superior Court elected to grant a further stay of the Québec action, pending the decision on the certification motions of parallel class action proceedings actively litigated in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. A copy of the Québec stay notice can be found here.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the IVC Filter class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “class member” if you are implanted with an IVC Filter.

You might also be affected by the class action if you are a family member of the “class member” (i.e., you are the parent, sibling, etc. of the person implanted with the IVC Filter.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes. Once the class action has been authorized, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of the class action within a period of time to be determined by the Court. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any compensation awarded under a settlement agreement or court order. You may however pursue your own action on an individual basis.

Generally, class members will wish to exclude themselves from a class action if they intend to bring their own individual action. In the majority of cases, it will be more economical to participate in the class action because the legal costs will be shared among a very large number of people.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should:

  • Keep a record of medical expenses incurred—appointments not covered by your provincial health care provider, prescriptions, medical devices, etc.
  • Keep a record of all medical treatments, including the names and contact information of the health care provider (doctor, surgeon, physiotherapist etc.).
  • If possible, keep a journal of symptoms and note down any times when you are unable to attend work or school as a result of your symptoms.

If you have not done so already, contact Siskinds in order that we can contact your health care providers to obtain relevant medical and pharmacy records. As time passes, it can be more difficult to collect this information. All personal information provided to Siskinds regarding any injuries/symptoms you may have suffered will be kept private and confidential.

If you are a family member of the “class member”, you should keep a record of:

  • Any expenses reasonably incurred for the benefit of the class member.
  • Travel expenses incurred in visiting the class member during his or her treatment or recovery.
  • Any services provided for the class member as a result of the injury (i.e., nursing, housekeeping).
  • If the class member is deceased, any funeral expenses reasonably incurred.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have a question, please complete the form on this page or call 1-800-461-6166.

For French enquiries, please contact our Quebec affiliated firm Siskinds, Desmeules by phone at 418-694-2009 or the toll free number 1-877-735-3842 or by email at [email protected].

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