Bard Access Systems, and its parent company Becton, Dickinson & Co., continue to face legal action from patients who say their Bard PowerPorts have a critical design flaw that causes the polyurethane tubing to break down. As a result, patients have developed infections, deep vein thrombosis, and other potentially fatal complications in individuals who are already medically vulnerable.
Most recently, a new Bard PowerPort lawsuit was filed by a patient after experiencing complications from a defective PowerPort that required him to undergo surgery to extract the device. Stories like this are all too common amongst Bard PowerPort users, who have been sounding the alarm about the risks of Bard PowerPort catheter implants for years, alongside the medical community.
Patients have now filed Bard PowerPort product liability lawsuits against Bard Access Systems in order to recover compensation for damages like medical bills and lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Patient Says Infected Bard PowerPort Led to a Blood Clot and Needed Surgical Removal
Bard PowerPorts are implanted catheter devices designed for patients who need frequent transfusions or injections, such as those undergoing chemotherapy. Patients like Ryan Meadors, one of the most recent plaintiffs to file a Bard PowerPort lawsuit, are able to receive rapid transfers due to the device’s ability to withstand higher injection pressure. Meadors had been fitted with a Bard PowerPort in 2021 to receive immunoglobulin infusions, but less than a year later, he needed surgery to remove the defective device.
His Bard PowerPort had begun to deteriorate, allowing harmful bacteria to accumulate and develop into an infection. From there, the infection led to a septic embolism, where an infected blood clot blocked a blood vessel. After his provider identified the source of the infection, Meadors had surgery to remove the Bard PowerPort, subjecting him to additional mental, physical, and financial stress.
His Bard PowerPort lawsuit levels multiple allegations of negligence against the manufacturer, reiterating prior accusations that Bard Access Systems created a flawed product and failed to warn anyone of the known risks. In fact, plaintiffs have argued that Bard Access Systems concealed reports of the critical defect. Meadors’s Bard PowerPort lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages to reimburse his losses, as well as punitive damages against the manufacturers to penalize them and act as a deterrent against future negligence.
Bard PowerPort Design Defect Causes Deterioration and Infection
The primary issue with the Bard PowerPorts can be traced back to the structural integrity of their polyurethane catheter tubing. This tubing is inserted into a blood vessel to allow providers to administer medication, blood, and IV fluids directly into the bloodstream. However, the catheter tubing has been cracking, breaking off in fragments, and moving from its original implantation site. Patients have been left vulnerable to a host of health complications, including:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Infection, including sepsis
- Pulmonary embolism
- Organ damage
- Heart attack
- Vascular damage
Defective Bard PowerPort Composition Leads to Injuries
The two main ingredients in the catheter tubing are polyurethane and Barium sulfate. When combined in the correct ratio, they produce a durable yet flexible tubing that can be easily threaded into a blood vessel. The Bard PowerPort catheter tubing contains too much barium sulfate, which has prevented it from mixing evenly with the polyurethane materials.
The barium sulfate then clumps and forms air pockets, compromising the strength of the tubing. As the polyurethane catheter tubing breaks down, the fragments can create blood clots and the damaged surface becomes an infection site as dangerous bacteria amass.
Plaintiffs Accuse Bard Access Systems of Multiple Acts of Negligence in Consolidated Claims
In a product liability claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent in one of four ways in order for them to be considered liable for damages. The plaintiff must offer proof that the device was built based on a flawed design, the manufacturing process rendered the device defective, the product was distributed in such a way that it became faulty, or that the makers of the device were aware that it was defective but did not alert consumers.
The claims brought against Bard Access Systems and their parent company Becton, Dickinson & Co. argue that the manufacturers should be held responsible not only for their defective design, but also for failing to acknowledge that their product was dangerous.
Becton, Dickinson, & Co. Knowledge of Bard PowerPort Defects
Bard PowerPorts have been available to patients for more than 20 years, during which time the manufacturer received complaints that the device’s polyurethane tubing was subject to migration and fracturing. The manufacturers had been able to avoid reporting the true extent of the issues with their product by taking advantage of the special consideration the FDA had afforded them.
Despite Bard Access Systems’ protests that any damage to the polyurethane tubing is attributable to medical error by providers, the courts have allowed the Bard PowerPort lawsuits to proceed. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined that consolidation was warranted, as the growing number of plaintiffs reported the same types of injuries and made similar legal challenges. The consolidated Bard PowerPort lawsuits are now being overseen by U.S. District Judge David Campbell in the District of Arizona. A leadership structure has been established for the multidistrict litigation that will allow for a more organized system moving forward.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Bard PowerPort Lawsuit
Navigating a product liability lawsuit with limited resources or legal experience can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to manage a career, run a household, and recover from an unexpected injury. Many plaintiffs in the Bard PowerPort claims also have to contend with the ongoing health issues that required them to have a Bard PowerPort in the first place. At LLN, our personal injury attorneys have provided valuable legal guidance to many clients as they sought fair compensation for their damages in product liability lawsuits.
If you are considering filing a Bard PowerPort lawsuit to recover compensation, we urge you to contact our team as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation. We will carefully evaluate the circumstances of your injury, discuss the types of damages you may be able to claim, explain your rights as the injured party, and provide an estimate of what your Bard PowerPort lawsuit may be worth.