Following the preparation of 3M Bair Hugger System trial cases to be heard April 2018 onwards, the Federal Court has ordered initiation of preparing for the second round of bellwether trials. On January 19, 2018, a Pretrial Order was released by the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota; according to this order, each party is to designate 16 cases from this group as “bellwether appropriate” by March 12, 2018. The parties are also to propose a bellwether trial sequence and a schedule for preparing the first two cases for trial.
Nearly 4,200 Bair Hugger lawsuits are now pending in the District of Minnesota, as a part of MDL 2666- (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Products Liability Litigation), presided by United States District Judge Joan N. Ericksen. All the cases are filed on behalf of plaintiffs who developed serious and debilitating deep joint infections, allegedly related to the use of the forced air warmer system during their hip or knee replacement surgery.
Plaintiffs claim that the 3M Bair Hugger System suffers from a design defect that allows potentially-contaminated air from the operating room floor to come into contact with an open surgical site, making the patients susceptible to develop a postoperative infection at the site of their implant, requiring additional treatments and surgeries, as well as permanent disability and even death.