Consolidation Sought in Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Lawsuits

Plaintiffs in a number of lawsuits brought against the makers of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket system seek consolidation of the lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective drugs and medical devices, comments that plaintiffs in 14 lawsuits brought against 3M Company, Arizant Healthcare, Inc., and Robert Prestera are seeking to consolidate the cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL).


The motion was filed on August 21, 2015 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and includes pending lawsuit allegations involving infections when the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket was used during surgery. Consolidation is requested to be coordinated before the Honorable Donovan W. Frank of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The case is In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation; MDL No. 2666; Case MN/0:15-cv-03328; filed on September 15, 2015. According to court documents, 3M opposed the plaintiff’s motion to transfer the actions to the District of Minnesota for coordinated or consolidated pretrial. The panel is expected to hear the motion and consider the parties’ arguments at the next scheduled panel hearing on December 3, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.


The 14 lawsuits all similarly allege that patient infections were diagnosed following knee or hip implant or replacement surgeries in which the Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming system was used to maintain patients’ normal body temperature prior to and during the orthopedic procedures. The Bair Hugger lawsuit complaints also share a range of other similar allegations regarding the Bair Hugger forced-air warming system, including:


3M advised federal regulators that the Bair Hugger blanket system met the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standard. The system allegedly does not meet this standard.


3M allegedly misrepresented the Bair Hugger system’s efficacy in filtering and trapping bacterial contaminants found in operating rooms.


3M allegedly misrepresented the Bair Hugger system’s efficacy in filtering and trapping bacterial contaminants found in operating rooms.


The 3M Bair Hugger forced-air warming blanket system is used to maintain a normal body temperature during orthopedic surgeries, such as knee, hip, shoulder, and spine procedures. “Evidence suggests that the 3M Bair Hugger Forced-Air Warming Blanket systems may be linked to deep joint infections that occur even up to one year after surgery,” noted Daniel C. Burke, Senior Litigation Counsel at Parker Waichman. “In some case, patients have had to undergo revision surgeries, even amputations, due to the deep infections allegedly associated with the 3M Bair Hugger,” he added.


Experts indicate that, as of 2015, some 50,000 Bair Hugger units are being used in hospitals nationwide and are used when a patient must undergo a long surgical procedure in which patient body temperatures often drop. This increases risks for hypothermia and infection and also tends to delay healing time, according to Parker Waichman.


Parker Waichman continues to evaluate 3M Bair Warming Blanket system injury lawsuits brought on behalf of people who allege significant, life-changing injuries following surgical procedures in which the Bair warmer device was used. Free case evaluations are available by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).


Release ID: 94262