The compensation for IVC filter lawsuits is meant to cover all of the victim's costs and losses that were caused by medical complications associated with the IVC filter. This goes far beyond just the medical expenses a victim has incurred, and includes:
- Medical expenses,
- Professional repercussions like lost wages and reduced ability to earn a living,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of consortium.
- 1. Compensation available in an IVC filter lawsuit
- 2. Wrongful death cases
- 3. Punitive damages
1. Compensation available in an IVC filter lawsuit
Victims who get hurt because of someone else's negligence or poor conduct deserve to be compensated for all of the losses they suffer. The law recognizes this, and allows plaintiffs to recover compensatory damages from the party who hurt them in successful lawsuits.
Compensatory damages in an IVC filter lawsuit aim to put the victim back in the same position they were in, before their IVC filter proved to be defective and hurt them. The law does this by awarding financial compensation to the victim for all of their setbacks associated with the injuries caused by the IVC filter. While most people think that verdicts and settlements are only meant to cover their medical bills, that is not the case.
1.1 Medical expenses
While IVC filter lawsuits can recover far more than just a victim's medical expenses, your medical bills still serve as the starting point for determining your compensatory damages.
Injuries caused by IVC filters often require extensive medical treatment to correct. When IVC filters fracture and migrate into your heart or lungs, emergency surgery is often required to prevent things from getting far worse. In many cases, you will need open-heart surgery to remove pieces of the filter.
These medical procedures are expensive. They can also require extensive long-term care. The compensation for the medical expenses you have paid in the past and are likely to pay in the future often serve as the core of an IVC filter lawsuit.
1.2 Professional repercussions
Many of the people who have IVC filters implanted are still in the middle of their careers. When their IVC filter breaks down and hurts them, these patients miss work and suffer other professional setbacks while they recover.
Because IVC filter lawsuits aim to compensate victims for all of the losses caused by the defective medical device, victims can recover compensation for their professional setbacks, as well. Depending on your situations, these setbacks can include:
- Lost wages, for salaried workers who missed work while they recovered from the injuries caused by their IVC filter,
- Lost business opportunities, for people who earn an income in a less stable format than a salary, like on commission, through business income, or as an independent contractor, and
- Reduced earning capacity, for people who were not working at the time of their IVC filter injury, but who could have entered the workforce at a higher level than they now can, thanks to their IVC filter injuries.
1.3 Pain and suffering
Victims of a defective IVC filter implant experience pain and suffering, as well. While it is far more difficult to put these personal experiences into a dollar amount, there is no denying the fact that they were caused by the IVC filter's problems. Therefore, the law awards compensatory damages for pain and suffering, as well
A financial award for your physical pain aims to compensate you for the feelings of pain and physical discomfort that you experienced from the IVC filter's defects. These feelings can be quite severe when the device fractured and compromised internal organs.
Compensation for your suffering is more complex. It aims to compensate you for the mental and emotional anguish caused by what is often a life-threatening ordeal, including the emotional distress caused by the memory of the experience. It also aims to compensate you for the hardships you will face in the future as you can no longer do the things you most enjoyed doing.
1.4 Loss of consortium
The injuries suffered by many IVC filter victims are not confined to their own experience – their families and loved ones also bear some of the burden of the injuries, as well. This is especially true in severe IVC filter injuries, where the victim is no longer able to participate in the lives of their loved ones to the extent they did, before their injuries.
Compensatory damages for loss of consortium are meant to rectify this problem by awarding a victim's loved ones financial help for their time without the victim of the IVC filter's defects.
2. Wrongful death cases
Some IVC filter lawsuits are filed on behalf of a victim's family because the injuries caused by the IVC filter proved to be fatal. The compensation available in these wrongful death cases is often different than if the victim had been able to file an IVC lawsuit on their own.
Different states handle wrongful death cases differently. However, the compensation available in wrongful death cases in most states is geared towards providing financial assistance to the surviving loved ones of the victim, such as compensation for:
- Funeral expenses,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Financial support and stability that the victim would have provided their loved ones.
3. Punitive damages
In addition to compensation, IVC filter lawsuits seek punitive damages from the makers of the IVC filters that caused the victim's injuries.
Punitive damages do not compensate victims. Rather, they are financial awards given to victims in order to punish the defendant for disturbingly wrongful conduct. In cases involving negligence, they are rare. However, in mass tort cases against drug and medical device makers, they are far more common. They are often awarded in cases where the defendant covered up the dangers of their product, putting people at risk so the company could make more money.
One IVC filter verdict included a $2 million award of punitive damages for the defendant's conduct.1
Law360, “Bard Owes Injured Woman $3.6M In IVC Bellwether, Jury Finds,” Law360 (March 30, 2018).