C.R. Bard Inc.’s PowerPort series was once hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of chronic illnesses that require repeated access to the vascular system. After receiving FDA approval in 2000, the devices quickly dominated the port-a-cath market and, by 2021, earned Bard nearly 70% market share.
However, PowerPort devices are prone to various complications that can gravely endanger user health, none of which Bard adequately reported to regulatory agencies or the public. As a result, the corporation and its parent company, Becton, Dickinson and Co., have faced a litany of Bard Powerport lawsuits in recent months.
Although Bard and Becton have routinely denied liability and undertaken to dismiss the litigation, prominent attorneys have predicted a dramatic increase in filings in the coming months. Dolman Law Group is now representing clients in Bard Implanted Port Catheter lawsuits and offers free consultations to those who would like to know more.
10,000 Bard PowerPort Lawsuits Anticipated in Coming Years
C.R. Bard Incoprated currently boasts a considerable market share in the port-a-cath device industry, a consequence of early FDA approval and aggressive marketing tactics. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of patients throughout the country currently rely upon one of the dozens of PowerPort devices Bard manufactures, distributes, and advertises.
Given the extent of the devices’ use and in lieu of a significant 2021 study that revealed a 59% complication rate for implanted catheters, attorneys have predicted an exponential increase in Bard Powerport lawsuits. For example, Adam Evans, who was recently appointed one of three co-lead counsel in the PowerPort multidistrict litigation, estimates that as many as 10,000 Bard Powerport lawsuits may be filed.
Bard PowerPort Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
In May 2023, Evans and several other counsels filed a petition with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking pretrial case consolidation. After July hearings, the federal panel granted plaintiffs’ request and established an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a federal procedure that consolidates cases with similar questions of fact for pretrial legal proceedings. The mechanism is designed to alleviate the court system of unnecessary strain, streamline the pretrial process, and reduce the risk of duplicative discovery and conflictory rulings. In contrast to class action lawsuits, plaintiffs in MDLs reserve their own counsel, typically allege a diverse range of injuries, and seek varying compensation figures.
Federal Panel Consolidates Bard PowerPort Lawsuits for Pretrial Proceedings
The effort to establish an MDL for the Bard PowerPort lawsuits was strongly contested by the defense. Bard and Becton denied liability and sought to undermine the credibility of the prosecution by attacking its “targeted digital advertising campaign”. The companies asserted that the establishment of an MDL would reward inappropriate and unethical practices of prominent law firms and validate allegedly spurious claims.
Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the various lawsuits raised common questions of fact and law which would be best resolved through consolidated proceedings. In addition, they submitted an authoritative document revealing 656 prospective plaintiffs, to refute the defendants’ allegations of illegitimate or exaggerated filings.
Writing for the JPML, Judge Karen Caldwell rejected the defendants’ arguments, stating that they had failed to establish the wrongdoing of the prosecution or the supposed illegitimacy of active claims. In August 2023, the JPML created a Bard PowerPort MDL over which Judge David G. Campbell was selected to preside for his recent experience in another MDL addressing Bard’s defective inferior vena cava (IVC) products.
Arizona District Court Appoints Leadership Structure for the Prosecution
Judge Campbell moved quickly to establish a firm foundation for future legal proceedings, approving an intricate plaintiffs’ leadership structure in mid-September. Given the prospective scope of the litigation, the court-approved bodies will assume an important role in coordinating the activities, filings, and negotiations of the prosecution and include:
- Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC)
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) / Liaison Counsel
- Eight subordinate subcommittees
Short Form Complaints, Discovery Process, and Bellwether Trials
The parties in the MDL are currently undertaking the discovery process, which is scheduled to last from November 2023 to January 2025. Throughout discovery, the prosecution will collate compelling medical, scientific, and mechanical evidence exposing the defective design of the PowerPorts and the inherent risks they pose to users.
Upon the conclusion of the discovery process and the finalization of an evidentiary record, bellwether trials are slated for the final quarter of 2026. Bellwethers are representative cases that are sent to trial in the final stages of the MDL process and whose results reveal the receptiveness of juries to plaintiffs’ claims and potential payout figures.
Moreover, the court recently accepted a Short-Form Complaint which prospective plaintiffs may submit to enroll directly in the MDL. The document relieves eligible plaintiffs of excessive procedural requirements like filing suit in another court of appropriate jurisdiction before applying for inclusion in the multidistrict litigation. Although relevant statutes of limitation still apply for individual claims, prospective plaintiffs now have easier access to the Bard PowerPort litigation.
Bard PowerPort Series Prone to Severe Complications
Bard PowerPort devices include a surgically implanted septum and a lengthy catheter inserted into a prominent blood vessel. This twofold structure enables physicians to administer fluids, medications, and parenteral solutions and withdraw blood through easy access to the vascular system.
However, the Bard PowerPort catheter is composed of a flawed mixture of polyurethane and the contrast dye barium sulfate. With repeated use, the barium sulfate can dissociate from the catheter and jeopardize the structure of the device, resulting in:
- Internal migration
- Pinch-off syndrome
Injuries Linked to Bard PowerPort Device Malfunctions
The long-term degradation of Bard PowerPort catheters can pose profound risks to the health of users, compounding preexisting medical conditions or causing novel injuries. In more severe cases, users have had to seek extensive medical treatment and undergo surgery in order to correct the severe damage caused by Bard’s defective products.
Common injuries linked to Bard PowerPort devices include:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Bloodstream infections (sepsis)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Cardiac tamponade
- Heart attack
Who Is Liable in Bard PowerPort Claims?
Massive medical device manufacturers owe users a duty of care, which includes an obligation to warn them of potential side effects, risks, and complications. A failure to fulfill this important responsibility may render an irresponsible company liable for the injuries its products have caused.
In the ongoing Bard PowerPort lawsuits, plaintiffs primarily allege that C.R. Bard Inc. and Becton, Dickinson and Company either knew or ought to have known of the risks associated with the PowerPort series but failed to adequately convey them to physicians and users alike.
C.R. Bard Inc. and Becton, Dickinson and Company Liability for Bard Powerport Injuries
To prove this assertion, the prosecution points particularly to the disclosure of a secretive FDA database which contained manufacturer reports about PowerPort-related complications and injuries. By exploiting a statutory loophole in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, Bard intentionally and successfully withheld from the public alarming information about the risks posed by the PowerPort series.
Only after exposé reporting from Kaiser Health News, in 2019, did the FDA dismantle the Alternative Summary Reporting (ASR) repository and publish records dating back to 1999. The publication of Bard PowerPort reports served as the impetus for the current litigation and revealed how much and for how long Bard and Becton knew of the inherent dangers of their port-a-cath series.
Common Damages in Bard PowerPort Lawsuits
Seeking additional medical treatment or surgery to correct the injuries caused by your Bard PowerPort device can prove immensely costly and exhausting. Fortunately, plaintiffs in product liability lawsuits reserve the right to seek compensation for their losses in the form of economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses – past, present, and future
- Lost wages and income
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Mental anguish
Although various online services claim to provide immediate and accurate compensation estimates, they fail to perform scrupulous assessments or account for the complexities of non-economic damages. Consequently, we strongly advise prospective plaintiffs to speak with a qualified Bard PowerPort lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Choose Dolman Law for Your Bard PowerPort Claim
Dolman Law Group, PA is committed to defending the rights of consumers and users who have suffered serious injuries on account of corporate recklessness or malfeasance. In recent years, our legal team has pursued accountability and justice from C.R. Bard, Philips Respironics, Novo Nordisk, Indivior Incorporated, Uber, and others.
As a result, we are experienced in representing clients in multidistrict litigation and are intimately familiar with the diverse and complex practice of product liability law. With over 120 combined years of personal injury law experience, we know how to acquire compelling evidence, craft persuasive claims, and advocate tirelessly on our clients’ behalf.
Fusing the individualized treatment and attentiveness of a small firm with the resources and influence of a nationwide practice, Dolman Law has a proven track record of success and an unwavering commitment to getting our clients the compensation they deserve.
Contact Dolman Law Group for Help with Your Bard PowerPort Lawsuit
As the ongoing multidistrict litigation advances, we anticipate an astronomical growth in filings from PowerPort users whose health and wellbeing have been jeopardized on account of Bard and Becton’s negligence. If you received a Bard PowerPort device and subsequently sustained a serious injury, we want to help.
In a free consultation, our qualified product liability lawyers can explain your rights, determine the eligibility of your claim, and calculate the compensation to which you may be entitled. Moreover, we work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we successfully resolve your claim.
Although Bard and Becton intend to fight aggressively to avoid liability and evade accountability, Dolman Law Group is determined to establish both.