Jury Sides the Defendant in the First Bair Hugger Bellwether Trial

  • Court

The two-week trial for 3M Bair Hugger System ended in favor of the defendant as the Minneapolis federal jury announced on May 30 that the plaintiff failed to provide adequate evidence to affirm the Bair Hugger System caused the surgical site infection. This was the first bellwether trial in a series of lawsuits lined up against the air warming blanket maker.

The plaintiff Louis Gareis from South Carolina suffered a deep joint infection in 2010 after he underwent a total right knee replacement surgery during which the 3M Bair Hugger warming blanket was used. In the allegation, Gareis states that the defective design of the warming blanket was the reason for him to undergo the antibiotic treatments, intravenous injections, and a revision surgery for the removal of his knee implant. A second 3M Bair Hugger System trial is expected to be trial ready by December 2018, involving claims by Kurtis Skarr and his wife, Debbie, of Idaho.

More than 4,467 hip and knee infection lawsuits are filed against the Bair Hugger warming blanket maker. Similar cases are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of Minnesota before U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen.

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