When Becton, Dickinson and Company acquired C.R. Bard Incorporated in 2017, it likely did not anticipate finding itself at the center of deeply disturbing and compelling product liability lawsuits. Nevertheless, after a July 2023 transfer order grant, it is listed as a defendant alongside its new subsidiary in a Bard PowerPort-related multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal court.
Given the extensive use of Bard’s devices, it is probable that the ongoing MDL will grow as more users demand accountability and compensation for injuries they sustained while relying on Bard and Becton, Dickinson and Co.’s products. The questions that the PowerPort lawsuits pose both for active and prospective plaintiffs are numerous. For the sake of clarity, we have addressed the fundamental questions every user of Bard’s port-a-cath devices should ask himself.
Table of contents
- Are Bard PowerPort Lawsuits A Class Action?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?
- How Much Is a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Worth?
- What Is Wrong With The Bard Powerport?
- Who Can File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?
- How Long Will a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Take?
- Did Bard and Becton, Dickinson and Company Know About Bard PowerPort Defects?
- Experienced Bard PowerPort Mass Tort Lawyers Can Help
Are Bard PowerPort Lawsuits A Class Action?
The current Bard PowerPort lawsuit is not a class action lawsuit. In July 2023, the Washington-based Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) granted a transfer order to an initial group of 10 litigants seeking case consolidation for a multidistrict litigation.
In contrast to class actions, MDLs involve the consolidation of exclusively civil cases alleging similar charges and citing similar injuries against a common defendant. The Panel assigned the Bard PowerPort MDL to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The Honorable Judge Richard M. Gergel is currently presiding over the legal proceedings.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?
Each state has its own statutes of limitation which establish a period in which a victim is eligible to seek compensation in a court of law. Like most product liability claims, a victim in Florida has 2 years after an injury or diagnosis to file suit against the negligent party.
Some victims of the Bard PowerPort defective design may not have known that their injuries or severe medical conditions were connected directly to their use of one of Becton, Dickinson and Company’s products. If you suffered any of the symptoms associated with the faulty design of Bard PowerPorts but are unsure whether your claim is still eligible, consider speaking with an experienced defective medical device lawyer after seeking medical attention.
How Much Is a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Worth?
None of the dozens of lawsuits currently pending in the Arizona PowerPort multidistrict litigation has been resolved. Any prediction about the potential compensation would be largely speculative.
Each case is unique, and every plaintiff is likely to seek different settlement figures. to get an idea of how much your Bard PoerPort lawsuit is worth, meet with a product liability lawyer. In addition to the many services they can provide, a product liability attorney can calculate the precise sum to which you may be entitled to claim in damages in your PowerPort lawsuit. In the context of personal injury law, compensation figures are usually estimated by weighing a variety of economic and non-economic factors, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages or income
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional and mental distress
What Is Wrong With The Bard Powerport?
The active Bard PowerPort lawsuits allege that the port-a-caths contained a disproportionate ratio of barium sulfate and polyurethane which leads to harmful defects. The poorly mixed materials can cause the body of the catheter itself to degrade over time, resulting in internal migrations, fractures, and fissures. These complications have the potential to result in severe medical conditions, including:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Organ damage
- Infections, including sepsis
Who Can File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?
If you suffered from any of the medical conditions associated with Bard PowerPort malfunctions after using their products, you may be eligible to file suit against the manufacturer and distributor. The named litigants in the ongoing MDL in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona include Becton, Dickinson and Company and its recent subsidiary Bard (formerly C.R. Bard Incorporated and Bard Access Systems).
How Long Will a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Take?
The precise length of a Bard PowerPort lawsuit is difficult to determine. There are a multitude of factors that influence the length of product liability lawsuits. If the named defendants wish to conclude the lawsuits at the earliest possible date in order to clear their books of outstanding legal problems, they will likely push for a pretrial settlement.
On the other hand, Becton, Dickinson and Company and its subsidiary deny liability and have consistently shifted blame and responsibility for the alarming complications associated with the use of their devices from themselves and onto doctors. The defendants’ counsel also protested vehemently in hearings that the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) held after receiving a request to grant a transfer order and establish a PowerPort MDL.
The general takeaway from the proceedings is that Becton, Dickinson and Co. and Bard are prepared to fight to deny liability and wrongdoing. Nevertheless, that has not prevented other massive corporations from settling in the past. Recently, Monsanto, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, settled a series of toxic chemical exposure and contamination cases brought against them by a string of state governments all the while denying liability and guilt.
Did Bard and Becton, Dickinson and Company Know About Bard PowerPort Defects?
Aside from outlining the structural design flaws of the Bard port-a-cath devices, the product liability lawsuits also allege that their manufacturer knew of the potential health risks associated with the use of their products. As proof, the plaintiffs point to a covert Food and Drug Administration database which the agency developed and maintained out of the public eye.
Beginning in the late 1990s, the FDA established the Alternative Summary Reporting (ASR) repository for select devices, permitting their manufacturers to submit secretive quarterly reports detailing product-related malfunctions and complications. Under the 1976 amended text of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA), manufacturers of medical devices can seek a §510 (k) exemption from the FDA to avoid otherwise stringent pre- and post-marketing oversight. The manufacturer has only to prove that the product it wishes to take to market is sufficiently analogous to a preexisting and FDA-approved model.
Bard’s PowerPort Defect Obfuscation Efforts
Rather than submit mandatory medical devices reports (MDRs) to the public-facing and publicly accessible Manufacturers and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database, Bard uploaded insubstantial but voluminous data about complications its devices caused to the ASR beginning in 2006. It never issued a recall or sought to correct the design flaws of its PowerPort series.
In 2019, exposé reporting from Kaiser Health uncovered this clandestine program, prompting a flurry of secondary reports from other outlets and inspiring a mixture of shock and wrath from medical practitioners and patients. The FDA, “in the spirit of transparency”, dismantled the ASR repository and released reports dating back to 1999.
When Bard Access Systems and C.R. Bard Incorporated’s reports came to light, PowerPort users and their physicians connected unusual but severe medical complications to the faulty design of the Bard PowerPorts themselves.
Experienced Bard PowerPort Mass Tort Lawyers Can Help
Lawsuit Legal News believes that Becton, Dickinson and Company and its subsidiary Bard owed it to the users of their PowerPorts to inform them of the risks they incurred. Instead, both sought to exploit regulatory loopholes to evade scrutiny and, when exposed, blamed physicians for their products’ design flaws.
Our qualified defective device lawyers are ready to help. In one of their free consultations, they can help you understand the eligibility of your claim and the compensation to which you may be entitled. Bard PowerPort lawyers on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we deliver results.
If you used any of Bard’s port-a-cath products and subsequently developed any of the serious health conditions associated with their design, consider seeking advice and counsel from a Bard PowerPort lawyer today.