Plaintiffs’ lawyers have spent millions of dollars soliticing patients who contracted infections during or after surgery, telling them that scientific evidence may suggest that their infections are related to patient warming.
In a sign of a rush to file lawsuits, more than 100 cases against the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ warming system already have been dismissed, with more expected in the coming months.
3M is vigorously challenging more than 3,300 lawsuits filed in the past 18 months, all of which rely on the same small group of studies promoted by a 3M competitor. 3M has argued in court documents that the science underlying the lawsuits is deeply flawed and has been largely generated by a 3M competitor.
Just last month, a federal court denied a motion by plaintiffs’ attorneys to allow them to add claims for punitive damages to key lawsuits in the case. The court said there was no proof that 3M disregarded the interests of patients, and it stated that the plaintiffs’ own studies failed to show that the Bair Hugger device causes infections.
The dismissals result from a variety of reasons:
- The Bair Hugger system may not have even been used during surgery.
- People are unwilling or unable to continue with their claims.
- Plaintiffs failed to properly follow through on their claims.
The first trial in the Bair Hugger system multi-district litigation is set to begin Feb. 26, 2018.