NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The federal court overseeing more than 800 joint infection lawsuits involving the 3M Company's Bair Hugger forced air warmer blanket has established a process for selecting bellwether trial cases. According to an Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, on November 16th, the Court will randomly select 150 Bair Hugger lawsuits from a pool of potential bellwether candidates. Lawsuits eligible for the pool include any pending in the federal multidistrict litigation as of December 19, 2016. Plaintiffs and defendants will then each select 16 cases from that group, as well as one or two related Bair Hugger claims that were also pending in Minnesota'sRamsey County District Court as of December 19, 2016. The Order stipulates that the parties are to inform the District of Minnesota of their bellwether nominations by January 20, 2017. (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2666)
Case specific discovery for the nominated Bair Hugger lawsuits will be conducted between January 21 and March 1, 2017. The Court has directed the parties to agree on and submit to it a list of the eight most representative lawsuits from the nominated cases no later than February 10, 2017. If they are unable to reach agreement, each of the parties may submit their own list of eight. By March 1, 2017, the Court will select up to eight of those Bair Hugger lawsuits for the Final Bellwether Trial Pool. The Court had previously indicated its intention to convene the litigation's first bellwether trial on November 6, 2017.
"Cases selected for bellwether trials are intended to be representative of the others pending in a multidistrict litigation. Verdicts in these early Bair Hugger trials may provide insight into jury decisions in similar lawsuits," says Sandy A. Liebhard, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to hip and knee replacement patients who allegedly developed post-operative deep joint following a hip or knee replacement that utilized the Bair Hugger system.
Bair Hugger Allegations The 3M Bair Hugger is used during surgical procedures to regulate a patient's body temperature. During an operation, a portable heater/blower takes in and warms ambient air, which is then gently forced through a flexible plastic hose into a single-use, disposable blanket. The Bair Hugger system was developed by Arizant Healthcare, Inc., which was acquired by the 3M Company in 2006. Since its introduction in 1987, the apparatus has been adopted as the standard surgical warming system in thousands of hospitals throughout the U.S.
Court documents indicate that 889 Bair Hugger lawsuits are now pending in the District of Minnesota, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed hip and knee infections following joint replacement surgery that involved use of the forced air warmer system. Plaintiffs assert that the Bair Hugger suffers from a design defect that may cause the surgical site to come into contact with bacteria and other contaminants from the operating room floor. They further charge that the 3M Company and Arizant have been aware of this risk for years, yet failed to make design changes or issue any warnings to the medical community.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to offer free, no-obligation legal reviews to individuals who allegedly suffered serious deep joint infections due to the 3M Bair Hugger forced air warmer blanket. To learn more about filing a hip or knee replacement infection lawsuit, please visit the Firm's website, or contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP directly by calling 800-511-5092.
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $3.5 billion on behalf of our clients. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is honored to once again be named to The National Law Journal's "Plaintiffs' Hot List," recognizing the top plaintiffs firms in the country. This year's nomination marks the thirteenth year the firm has been named to this prestigious annual list.
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