Three bellwether cases remain; trial slated for early 2018
Another bellwether case in the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ system litigation has been dismissed and a third case has been deselected as a bellwether, leaving just three of the original six cases in the bellwether pool.
The Kamke dismissal marks the second bellwether case to be dismissed.
The litigation involving the Bair Hugger warming system is consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in Minneapolis. In an MDL, the court decides to hear one or several cases that are emblematic of the entire pool. These are known as bellwether cases. The outcomes of these cases are used to help determine how to best resolve the remaining claims.
In the Bair Hugger system litigation, attorneys for the plaintiffs and 3M each selected 16 cases, which ultimately were narrowed down to six cases.
In June, the federal court overseeing the litigation announced the sequence of bellwether trials.
Just one month later, attorneys for Jeffrey Knuteson asked the court to dismiss their case, which had been selected as a bellwether case. Knuteson, a Wisconsin man who claimed to have developed an infection during a total hip arthroplasty, was represented by Lockridge Grindal Nauen of Minneapolis. The original lawsuit was filed in April 2016.
On October 12, 2017, attorneys for Julie Kamke, a Wisconsin woman, formally notified the federal court that they have agreed to dismiss their case against 3M. The case cannot be refiled. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Kamke claimed the Wisconsin woman developed an infection during a total hip replacement. Kamke was represented by attorneys Brian Tadtman and Nicholas Clevenger of Peterson & Associates of Kansas City.
The federal court also recently removed a third case from the bellwether pool. That case, which remains active but will not be a bellwether case, involves John Nugier, a Florida man who received a total knee arthroplasty at a mobile operating facility at the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital. After learning additional facts about the case, attorneys agreed that it was not representative.
The first bellwether case is expected to go to trial in April 2018.