Request Legal Help Now - Free


Court Spells Out Bair Hugger Bellwether Trial Timelines

. By
Ramsey County, MNIt’s been almost a year to the day that a small collection of plaintiffs having filed a Bair Hugger lawsuit had their cases transferred to federal court in Minnesota, effectively creating multidistrict litigation cases that were characterized as being several dozen in number.

That was December 11, 2015. A total of fourteen joint infection cases were assigned by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to US District Judge Joan N. Ericksen. At the time, nine cases were based in Minnesota with five additional cases hailing from Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio and Texas joining the Minnesota cases under consolidation. According to the ruling at the time, there were at least 51 potential ‘tag-along’ cases pending in other federal courts.

Fast-forward eleven months. As of November 18 – a little under a month ago – there were 889 warming blanket lawsuits housed in multidistrict litigation in Minnesota, according to court documents. Two days prior, on November 16, a widely anticipated Order issued in the US District Court, District of Minnesota, spelled out the latest template for the first bellwether trials expected next year.

3M Warming Blanket lawsuit cases filed with the court and consolidated under multidistrict litigation as of December 19 of this year will be eligible to be part of a pool of cases from which the Court will randomly select some 150 cases as potential lawsuits for a bellwether trial.

From that pool, according to the Order, plaintiffs and defendants will whittle that list down to some 16 cases from the primary group, as well as the inclusion of one, or two cases from a pool of Bair Hugger Warming Blanket lawsuits also pending in Ramsey County District Court, District of Minnesota.

Those nominations are due by January 20 of next year, with case-specific discovery commencing the next day, January 21 2017. While that process is ongoing (until the beginning of March), defendants and plaintiffs will agree on a list of eight cases which best represents the overall case pool. The deadline for that process in February 10.

It is possible, in determining the Bair Hugger lawsuits that are most representative, that plaintiffs and defendants will not be in a position to agree on the eight cases. Were that to occur, then the respective parties will submit, as individual groups, their own interpretations of the eight most representative Bear Hugger deep joint infection lawsuits irrespective of the other party’s choices.

By March 1, 2017 the Court is directed to choose up to eight of those cases for inclusion in the Final Bellwether Trial Pool, with the first Bair Hugger bellwether trial scheduled to begin November 6, 2017 – almost a year from now.

The Bair Hugger was developed and first introduced in 1987 as a way to warm a patient’s body during surgery. The Bair Hugger, which transfers warmed ambient air from a unit on the floor to a warming blanket draped over the patient, has since been adopted by thousands of hospitals in the US and Canada and is considered standard procedure for long surgeries.

The allegation, however, is that bacteria lingering at the floor level is transferred up to the patient with the warm air and risks infection, including deep joint infection. Various lawsuits assert that the risk of infection is worse for joint replacement procedures, such as hips and knees.

Originally brought to market by Arizant Healthcare Inc., the 3M Bair Hugger is now in the 3M stable of products after the latter acquired Arizant in 2006.

The Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation is In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2666, US District Court, District of Minnesota.


Bair Hugger Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a defective products lawyer who may evaluate your Bair Hugger claim at no cost or obligation.


Posted by

I developed MRSA and also Sepsis after having amputation of my right leg. Please contact me asap. Thanks.


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Click to learn more about

Request Legal Help Now! - Free