3M Bair Hugger Case Updates and Information

May 18, 2016 Case Update

The Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation is in its early stages. An increasing number of lawsuits continue to be filed throughout the country on behalf of individuals who sustained injuries as a result of the Bair Hugger device.

The discovery process has commenced and we expect thousands of documents to be produced by manufacturer 3M. These documents may include records such as design of the device, any reports of adverse effect, any studies regarding the safety of the device, etc. The discovery process is lengthy and expected to continue until 2017.

On May 19, 2016, a “Science Day” education tutorial will be held in the District of Minnesota.  Plaintiffs and Defendants will have the opportunity to present expert witnesses before the judge in an informal session explaining the science of the case.

We continue to diligently work on your case. If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to contact our office

December 17, 2015 Case Update

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has consolidated all lawsuits linked to the Bair Hugger warming device in the United States District Court to the District of Minnesota. According to the transfer order (PDF) issued by the JMPL, the cases will all be centralized before U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen, as part of a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2666).

One of the primary reasons the District of Minnesota was selected as the venue for the MDL because 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare are headquartered in that state. Centralization helps prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, reduces the risk of duplicative discovery, and improves judicial efficiency. Your case will retain its own identity and will be judged on its own merits.

A status conference will be held in the coming weeks to organize and coordinate this newly formed MDL. Please keep in mind that that the MDL process can take years before there is any final resolution. As your attorneys we are working hard to effectively and efficiently represent you in this Bair Hugger lawsuit. 

November 16, 2015 Case Update

A hearing will be held December 3, 2015 with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to determine whether Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) will be created to accommodate the high volume of cases.

  • There have been a number of cases similar to yours filed around the country to date, and there is every indication that there will eventually be thousands of these cases filed.
  • To accommodate the high volume of cases expected, a hearing with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to address this matter.
  • We hope to have an update regarding this hearing after Monday, December 21, 2015.

To learn more about the MDL process, please refer to our previous case update below. 

October 13, 2015 Case Update

What is going on with my case?

Currently, we are in the process of evaluating your claim and determining whether we can move forward by initiating a lawsuit on your behalf. To do this, we must obtain medical records to determine that the dangerous product, the Bair Hugger warming device, was used and to confirm that a periprosthetic joint infection was diagnosed.  Unfortunately, obtaining medical records take some time due to the healthcare facilities response time. 

What is the Bair Hugger?

3M Bair Hugger surgical deviceThe Bair Hugger lawsuit alleges that 3M, the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger forced hot air warming blanket, knew about the increased risks of joint infections associated with the use of the Bair Hugger warming machine during hip and knee replacement surgeries, yet failed to redesign the medical device to make it safer, and additionally failed to warn healthcare providers and patients of the infection risk. In fact, the lawsuit alleges that 3M attempted to conceal and discredit any scientific data that indicated an increased risk of hip and knee infections with the use of the Bair Hugger. Similar allegations are being made against Arizant Healthcare, which is owned by 3M and manufactures the device, as well as sales representatives working for the company.

What if I have new information to add to my case?

  •  If you were not able to provide complete information regarding your surgeries and    doctors we ask that you complete our INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE. This document will be emailed to our staff and processed within 24-48 business hours. Should we have any additional questions, we will contact you via email or telephone.
     
  • If you have already provided this detailed information but just need to add some new facts in light of recent doctor’s appointments or need to let us know about your current health, you can complete our SHORT FORM – UPDATE FORM.  This document will be emailed to our staff and processed within 24-48 business hours. Should we have any additional questions, we will contact you via email or telephone.       

A petition with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to accommodate the high volume of cases, and a hearing regarding this matter will be held December 3, 2015.

A multi-district litigation is a procedure that allows civil lawsuits which are pending in different federal district courts and have at least one common question of fact, to be transferred and consolidated. Instead of having litigation in different districts, an MDL consolidates all the cases into one court.

If an MDL is created, all cases involving the Bair Hugger device will be transferred to a district court somewhere in the country to proceed together.

An MDL provides economic and strategic benefits. An MDL promotes efficiency, for instance, plaintiffs have the added benefit of being grouped together for discovery purposes. Discovery is the time in which the court allows both sides to request information and records that are relevant to the claims central to the litigation. Just as we are able to obtain records from the Defendant, they are also allowed to ask us questions (Interrogatories) and for any and all records in our possession (Requests for Production). In an MDL ALL plaintiffs have the advantage of obtaining streamlined records and discovery information from the defendants

An MDL also promotes consistency in legal rulings; instead of having different judges across the country preside over various disputes, one MDL judge will preside over pretrial motions, discovery issues, and factual and legal issues.

Is this a class action?

No, your case will not be pursued as a class action. We are bringing lawsuits on behalf of each of our clients. In an MDL each individual case is separate, and no one is forced to settle as part of a group.

Who are we suing?

We are suing the manufacturer of the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Blanket. We are not taking any legal action against your physician, surgeon, or hospital where your surgery was performed.

When will I hear from you?

This process takes a significant amount of time. We ask that you be patient as we complete the early investigation of your claim. Your legal team is diligently tending to the needs of your case. If we encounter any problems along the way we will contact you.

We will have periodic updates for our clients through our website and our Implant Infection Information Line at 1-888-331-4004.