Hip and knee replacement infection lawsuits involving the 3M Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket continue to mount in the federal litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. According to an updated case list posted on November 15th, there are now 889 claims pending in the proceeding.
The updated count represents an increase of 80 filings over the past month, as the Court had reported 809 cases pending back on October 15th.
All of the claims included in the federal Bair Hugger litigation were filed on behalf of individuals who developed serious deep joint infections following hip or knee replacement surgeries that utilized the forced air warming system. All such federal cases were centralized in Minnesota last December, in order to allow the docket to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings, promote judicial efficiency and preserve the resources of the court, parties and witnesses involved in the lawsuits.
When the multidistrict litigation was established last year, only 14 Bair Hugger claims were initially transferred to the District of Minnesota. The growth of the docket over the past 11 months would seem to vindicate plaintiffs’ attorneys who had predicted that the litigation would eventually come to include hundreds of filings.
According to RXInjuryHelp.com, the Bair Hugger system is used by thousands of hospitals to help patients undergoing orthopedic surgery and other procedures maintain an optimum body temperature. During an operation, the Bair Hugger’s portable heating unit draws in ambient air, and then gently forces the newly-warmed air through a flexible, plastic hose into a single-use, disposable blanket that has been draped over the patient.
Plaintiffs pursuing knee and hip replacement lawsuits against the 3M Company and its Arizant Healthcare, Inc. subsidiary claim that the Bair Hugger system suffers from a design defect that allows potentially contaminated air from the operating room floor to come into contact with the sterile surgical field, greatly increasing the risk that a hip or knee implant patient will develop a deep joint infection following their surgery. The defendants are accused of ignoring this alleged flaw for years, and of failing to make design changes or provide appropriate safety warnings to the medical community.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP represents plaintiffs in Bair Hugger lawsuits. To learn more, please call (888) 707-5440 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.