United States District Court, D. Arizona
IN RE Bard IVC Filters Products Liability Litigation,
G. Campbell, United States District Judge.
multidistrict litigation proceeding (“MDL”)
involves thousands of personal injury cases related to
inferior vena cava (“IVC”) filters manufactured
and marketed by Defendants C. R. Bard, Inc. and Bard
Peripheral Vascular, Inc. (collectively, “Bard”).
Plaintiffs have filed a motion to exclude the opinions of Dr.
Christopher Morris. Doc. 7320. The motion is fully briefed,
and the parties agree that oral argument is not necessary.
The Court will deny the motion.
is a large vein that returns blood to the heart from the
lower body. IVC filters are small metal devices implanted in
the IVC to catch blood clots before they reach the heart and
lungs. This MDL involves seven different versions of Bard
filters - the Recovery, G2, G2 Express, G2X, Eclipse,
Meridian, and Denali.
Plaintiff in this MDL was implanted with a Bard filter and
claims it is defective and has caused serious injury or
death. Plaintiffs allege that Bard filters are more dangerous
than other IVC filters because they have a higher risk of
tilting, perforating the IVC, or fracturing and migrating to
vital organs. Plaintiffs further allege that Bard failed to
warn physicians and patients about the higher risks.
Plaintiffs assert a host of state law claims, including
manufacturing and design defects, failure to warn, breach of
warranty, and consumer fraud and unfair trade practices. Doc.
303-1. Bard disputes Plaintiffs' allegations, contending
that Bard filters are safe and effective and that the medical
community is aware of the risks associated with IVC filters.
have identified Dr. Morris, an interventional radiologist, as
an expert witness on various issues related to Bard filters.
Dr. Morris graduated from Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine in 1985. He completed his residency in
diagnostic radiology at Ohio State University, and his
fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology at
Massachusetts General Hospital. He currently serves as a
professor of radiology and surgery at the University of
Vermont, and is a member of the American College of Radiology
and the Society of Interventional Radiology. Doc. 7800-1 at
do not dispute that Dr. Morris has expertise in the field of
interventional radiology and the use of IVC filters. Rather,
Plaintiffs ask the Court to exclude his opinions that (1)
Bard filters are safe and effective, and (2) medical imaging
should not be part of a patient's routine follow-up care
and has no bearing on the decision to remove a filter. Doc.
10070 at 7-18. The Court will address each
Rule 702, a qualified expert may testify on the basis of
“scientific, technical, or other specialized
knowledge” if it “will assist the trier of fact
to understand the evidence, ” provided the testimony
rests on “sufficient facts or data” and
“reliable principles and methods, ” and
“the witness has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.” Fed.R.Evid.
702(a)-(d). An expert may be qualified to testify based on
his or her “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
proponent of expert testimony has the ultimate burden of
showing that the expert is qualified and the proposed
testimony is admissible under Rule 702. See Lust v.
Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 89 F.3d 594, 598 (9th Cir.
1996). The trial court acts as a gatekeeper to assure that
expert testimony “both rests on a reliable foundation
and is relevant to the task at hand.” Daubert v.
Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597 (1993).
Opinion on Safety and Effectiveness.
rebutting the report of one of Plaintiffs' experts, Dr.
Morris opines that Bard filters are safe and effective. Doc.
7800-1 at 22. Dr. Morris states that this opinion is based on
his “review of the available literature and [his]
personal experience.” Id.
contend that the opinion is unreliable because Dr. Morris
discounted studies showing high complication rates and did
not consider Bard's internal data showing that the
filters were subject to failure. Doc. 10070 at 8-13.
Defendants counter that the opinion is sufficiently reliable
because Dr. Morris relies on both his personal experience
with IVC filters and his interpretation of the relevant
literature, and that Plaintiffs' mere ...