Bard PowerPorts are port catheter devices that allow medical providers to administer medications, blood, nutrition, and fluids to patients without having to repeatedly puncture the skin with a different needle every time. Patients and providers have reported a defect with the devices that has led patients to develop infections and blood clots, among other injuries. As a result, injured Bard PowerPort users have filed product liability lawsuits seeking compensation for their additional medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In response to the plaintiffs’ motion requesting a multidistrict litigation, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will convene to hear oral arguments to determine if the claims should be consolidated. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, plaintiffs’ cases may be returned to their original jurisdictions, or transferred to one jurisdiction to be evaluated together. Either way, plaintiffs should still hire their own legal representation to advocate for the compensation they need for their damages in a Bard PowerPort lawsuit. A defective medical device attorney will have the necessary skills to contextualize and quantify your damages to negotiate for the maximum compensation possible.
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Panel of Judges Will Hold Hearing to Decide if Bard PowerPort Claims Should Be a MDL
On July 27th, 2023, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will hold a hearing to ascertain whether or not it makes sense for the Bard PowerPorts claims to be grouped together into a multidistrict litigation, as they have done for other cases claiming similar injuries such as the chemical hair relaxer lawsuits. The plaintiffs and the defendants will have the opportunity to present their cases to the JPML at the Phillip Burton U.S. Courthouse, in San Francisco, California.
If the JPML decides to form a multidistrict litigation, they will then have to determine which jurisdiction to transfer the claim to. Plaintiffs have requested the Western District of Missouri where 6 of the 10 claims filed originated. While defendants oppose the consolidation on the grounds that a formal consolidation is unwarranted and inappropriate due to the multiple models included in the claims, they have expressed a preference for the District of Utah due to its proximity to Bard Access Systems’ headquarters, or the District of Arizona.
In a multidistrict litigation, plaintiffs can work together during the discovery and pre-trial processes to compile common evidence of liability and negligence, which reduces the strain on court resources. Additionally, it eliminates potential complications, such as multiple judges issuing different rulings pertaining to claims based on similar facts and accusations of negligence. A multidistrict litigation can also be beneficial because it often results in the claims being settled in a more efficient manner rather than if they were heard one by one, especially in cases where a large influx of claims is anticipated.
Defective Bard PowerPorts Have Caused Serious Injuries to Patients
Bard PowerPorts are composed of an injection port and a polyurethane catheter tube, which is implanted under the skin. Medical providers can then use the port to administer the medication, IV fluid, or blood to the patient. Not only does this expedite the process, but it also prevents providers from having to directly inject patients each time they need to administer another dose. For example, Bard PowerPorts are commonly used for patients receiving chemotherapy on a regular basis.
Plaintiffs in the Bard PowerPort lawsuits allege that the polyurethane tubing has a tendency to fracture or fail, causing it to migrate, allow infection, or inflict other damage on patients who may already be medically fragile. Thus far, the following injuries have been reported in connection with defective Bard PowerPort devices:
- Infections including sepsis
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Cardiac/pericardial tamponade
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Severe chronic pain
- Organ and tissue damage
Understanding the Bard PowerPort Defect
PowerPort lawsuit plaintiffs claim that a misstep in the manufacturing process is responsible for the catheter tubes breaking down. The catheter tubes are made up of polyurethane and barium sulfate, which is often used as plastic filler. They believe that Becton Dickinson and its subsidiary Bard Access Systems did not mix the two compounds correctly, resulting in concentrated deposits of barium sulfate in the walls of the catheter.
This is problematic because barium sulfate is known to degrade polyurethane, and the concentrated spots within the catheter make it prone to breakage. The polyurethane catheter is inside a vein that carries blood to the heart so any failure that causes the device to crack, move, or break entirely can result in catastrophic damage to the cardiovascular system.
Despite the fact that Bard has been aware of the defect for quite some time, they have refused to issue a recall of this dangerous product. Injured patients and their families are now forced to turn to the legal system to hold this company accountable for manufacturing a dangerous product and failing to warn consumers or the medical community about the hazards of using it.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney About Your Bard PowerPort Lawsuit
These claims are far from the first product liability claims brought against Bard Access Systems over their port devices, which Bard claims have been settled in a timely manner. Even with a history of negligence on the part of the manufacturer, plaintiffs still carry the burden of proof in a personal injury lawsuit. They will have to demonstrate that their accusations are more likely than not true and that Bard had a legal obligation to warn them of the risks of using their product.
This is where hiring a product liability attorney to represent you can prove extremely beneficial. Plaintiffs allege that Bard has failed to warn patients and medical providers about the issues with their PowerPorts and that Bard’s manufacturing practices resulted in the harmful defect. A defective medical device lawyer will have the knowledge and resources to conduct a proper investigation of the defective product and Bard’s negligent manufacturing practices. They will also know how to present the evidence in a persuasive manner to establish liability.
Plaintiffs will need to show that their infection, blood clot, or other injury resulted from a defective Bard PowerPort, and that their damages were a result of their injuries in order to recover compensation. If you have been injured by a defective Bard PowerPort, it is in your best interest to contact a defective drug attorney to champion your rights and maximize your compensation n a Bard PowerPort lawsuit.