Several thousand individuals have filed lawsuits against 3M over the Minnesota-based company’s Bair Hugger blankets, which are used in orthopedic surgeries to prevent hypothermia.
Some plaintiffs have alleged that the blankets caused them to develop an infection. In some cases, patients who underwent orthopedic surgeries such as a hip replacement and then used a Bair Hugger blanket required amputation of their leg. Others who have filed Bair Hugger lawsuits needed additional surgeries, allegedly because of the blanket.
According to a Reuters report, in August, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived approximately 6,000 lawsuits after ruling that a lower court judge should not have excluded plaintiffs’ medical expert testimony.
Bair Hugger surgical warming blankets contain a hose and a central heating unit designed to stem bleeding in order to expedite recovery time. In addition, the blanket is supposed to actually decrease infection risk during orthopedic surgery.
However, the lawsuits allege that the Bair Hugger transmits harmful, antibiotic-resistant bacteria into open wounds, thereby rendering the device defective and placing patients in harm's way, the plaintiffs’ claims contend.
The federal court’s ruling reverses a 2019 U.S. District Court judge’s ruling that the lawsuit against 3M lacked scientific merit. The first Bair Hugger trial was held in 2018, in which a jury found 3M not liable for a South Carolina man’s infection that developed in 2010, allegedly because of the defective Bair Hugger.
If you have been harmed by a Bair Hugger blanket or other medical devices, the best way to receive your fair share of compensation is through Attorney at Law.
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