The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has issued an order transferring federal cases alleging injuries caused by Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming units or blankets to the District of Minnesota for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings before the Honorable Joan N. Ericksen.
The JPML is a group of seven federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States, which has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for multidistrict litigation treatment, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made if the Panel determines that the transfers will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases. (For more information about multidistrict litigation and the JPML, click here.)
At the time of the JPML’s order, there were 14 filed lawsuits listed on the schedule presented to the Panel, including 9 actions already pending in the District of Minnesota, and 5 actions in the Northern District of Alabama, the Eastern District of Arkansas, the District of Kansas, the Northern District of Ohio, and the Southern District of Texas. The Panel was also informed of 51 additional related federal actions, for a total of 65 filed lawsuits.
The lawsuits allege that the plaintiffs developed serious infections during their orthopedic surgeries due to the introduction of contaminants into their open wounds as a result of the use of a Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming system (Bair FAW). Specifically, plaintiffs allege that the device is defective in at least two respects: (1) the device affects airflow in the operating room, causing bacteria from the operating room floor to be deposited into the surgical site; and (2) the internal airflow paths of the device’s blower can become contaminated with pathogens that can then be expelled into the operating room. It is further alleged that this safety issue was known by manufacturer 3M Co. and its subsidiary, Arizant Healthcare, Inc.
Borgess Law, LLC is currently accepting Bair Hugger injury cases. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with an infection following hip or knee replacement surgery, feel free to contact Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Litigation Attorney Pamela A. Borgess of Borgess Law, LLC at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law, LLC by submitting an online inquiry or emailing Attorney Borgess directly at pborgess@BorgessLaw.com. Borgess Law never charges a fee for an initial consultation.