Bair Hugger Warming Blanket Update

Judge Denies Summary Judgment and Any Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Expert Witnesses: Cases Will Proceed To Trial

On December 13, U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen denied Defendants’ Daubert motions seeking to exclude expert witnesses in the litigation over 3M’s Bair Hugger warming blanket. All Plaintiff experts can be presented in the first bellwether trial scheduled for next year. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment was also denied. These cases will now proceed to bellwether trials.

Claims About the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket

What the Plaintiffs Claim

Plaintiffs’ expert witnesses include engineering, regulatory, and medical experts who testify in support of Plaintiffs’ assertions that use of the Bair Hugger increases the risk of infections. They stated that pathogens may be stirred up by the Bair Hugger warming blanket thereby increasing the risk of hip and knee replacement patients developing deep joint infections. There is even a computational fluid dynamics model demonstrating how contamination of the deep joint space would be caused by use of the Bair Hugger in the operating room.

What the Defendants Claim

3M’s legal team claimed the Plaintiff’s expert opinions lacked scientific credibility and therefore filed a motion to exclude these experts. Defendants moved to exclude seven experts, while the Plaintiffs moved to exclude 13.

Daubert Motions Denied

Judge Ericksen denied these motions through application of the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 standard that “the Court need only exclude expert testimony that is so fundamentally unsupported that it can offer no assistance to the jury.” Defendants had also moved for summary judgment under the argument that exclusion of Plaintiffs’ experts under the Daubert standard would render Plaintiffs’ case unsupportable. Given Judge Ericksen’s denial of Defendants’ Daubert motions, she similarly denied Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.

The first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin May 14, 2018.

Our Involvement

GoldenbergLaw Partner Noah Lauricella is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the PSC’s Bellwether Committee. Contact Noah Lauricella for questions about the Bair Hugger warming blanket.

Did a Bair Hugger Surgical Blanket Cause Your Infection?

For the last several decades, Bair Hugger warming blankets have been used to keep patients warm during surgery, especially hip and knee replacements. During surgery, a patient’s body can rapidly cool due to the exposure of the incision and the relaxed state induced by the anesthesia. To remedy this problem, the Bair Hugger surgical blankets were invented to help circulate warm air over a patient during surgery.

In 2002, the maker of the Bair Hugger blankets came out against his own product saying that the blankets may allow bacteria to spread and therefore cause dangerous infections during surgery. These infections have caused countless numbers of patients to suffer anti-biotic resistant infections that can only be treated with more surgeries to clean and remove infected tissue. Consequently, there are a multitude of lawsuits arising against 3M, the current manufacturer of the Bair Hugger warming blanket.

Contact Our Defective Product Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one suffered an infection after a hip or knee replacement surgery and believe it was due to the use of a Bair Hugger warming blanket, please contact our defective product attorneys. At GoldenbergLaw, our attorneys have been helping members of our community for decades and we can help you too. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve for your injury. This may include compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of employment, and pain and suffering.

Contact us today so we can review your case for free. You can fill out the form on this page or call us at 612-436-5026.