Cook Medical to pay $3M after patient device breaks post spine surgery: 7 things to know

Spinal Tech

Medical device developer Cook Medical was ordered to pay a patient $3 million in one of three bellwether cases that went to federal court over the company's blood-clot filters, according to the Indiana Business Journal.

Seven things to know:

1. More than 4,000 patients have filed lawsuits against Cook Medical alleging the Celect Cava filter failed, occasionally piercing organs and blood vessels. In various cases, operations to remove the filter were required.

2. In the other two bellwether cases, juries sided with Cook Medical.

3. In the latest case, Tonya Brand, the plaintiff, explained how several months after undergoing spinal fusion surgery the Celect Cava filter broke and pieces were traveling throughout her body.

4. The patient allegedly began noticing a "painful region" on the inside of her right thigh. Shortly after the pain began, a protrusion developed, and a piece of metal wire popped out of her thigh. X-rays revealed it was one of the struts of the filter.

5. X-rays also found a second strut broke from the filter and traveled near her spine. Ms. Brand revisited the hospital to have the filter removed; however, the reoperation was unsuccessful. After hearing Ms. Brand's case, the jury found the filter was defective.

6. About its devices, Cook Medical said the filters "have some degree of risks," however, the benefits "outweigh the small percentage of risk for patients that need to prevent potentially life-threatening clots," according to the Indiana Business Journal.

7. Cook Medical plans to appeal the verdict.

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