Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New shut down a maneuver by IVC filter manufacturer Angiotech Pharmaceuticals to minimize victims’ ability to pursue their IVC filters lawsuits.
Though the Canadian medical device manufacturer argued that out-of-state victims of the defective devices should not be permitted to participate in the mass tort seeking compensation, the judge disagreed, saying that the company had “significant business ties” to the state in a variety of forms, and therefore it was appropriate for victims to pursue their claims in Pennsylvania, regardless of their place of residence.
The IVC filter lawsuits revolve around various issues with the medical devices, including their tendency to break apart, migrate throughout the body, and become embedded in or perforating the vena cava walls. The devices are supposed to catch blood clots and prevent pulmonary embolism.
Pennsylvania IVC Filter Lawsuits to Proceed with All Plaintiffs
Angiotech had filed preliminary objections to nine of the suits that had been filed in Philadelphia over the IVC filters, arguing that the non-Pennsylvania residents that had filed them were filing inappropriately because their injuries had not occurred in the state the company did not operate in the state.
In handing down his decision, Judge New disagreed with their assertion, pointing out that though the company’s headquarters are located in Massachusetts, they also operate Surgical Specialties Corporation – a subsidiary – in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and that the devices themselves were designed, assembled, packaged and shipped from Pennsylvania. There are an estimated 400 IVC filter lawsuits pending in the Philadelphia lawsuit as well as many more throughout the country.