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Cook Medical Plans To Appeal $3M Verdict

(WTIU/WFIU News)

A federal jury in Indianapolis determined Cook Medical must pay a Georgia woman $3 million for medical complications that arose when one of the company's blood clot filters deteriorated inside her body.

Tonya Brand says she removed a piece of her intravenous filter from her thigh in 2011, but there's no way to safely remove some pieces of the filter that remain in her body. The jury found the filter to be defective.

In a statement, Cook says it will appeal the court's decision.

"This was a particularly complex patient case with unique, patient-specific factors," said Mark Breedlove, vice president of Cook Medical's Vascular Division, in a statement. "This case does not change our position. Cook is committed to continuing the fight for physician and patient access to this life-saving technology." 

Joseph Williams is part of the team that represented Brand in her lawsuit. He says he doubts Cook's appeal will be successful.

"Most of the evidence that they wanted to get admitted was admitted. Much of the evidence that we wanted to admit, the court excluded under the rules of evidence," Williams says. "I just don't see any strong grounds for appeal." 

Cook Medical reports the type of filter Brand had has a reported fracture rate of less than 1 percent.

The Feb. 5 verdict was the first time a jury has found the widely used IVC filters made by Cook Medical and other manufacturers to be defective.

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