Two more plaintiffs drop lawsuits against 3M

Two more plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their lawsuits against the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ patient warming system.

In recent months, attorneys for Lucy Acosta and Randall Cantrell withdrew all claims against 3M without prejudice.  

In her complaint filed in December 2015, Acosta had alleged that she contracted an infection during knee surgery in October 2013.  She originally claimed that it was caused by the Bair Hugger warming device. Her lawsuit cited several studies that have been promoted heavily by a 3M competitor – studies that have stated specifically that they have found no actual connection between the use of Bair Hugger devices and surgical site infections. Acosta was represented by attorney Michael Goetz of Morgan & Morgan in Tampa, Fla., and by Genevieve Zimmerman, Anthony Nemo, Jason Johnston and Ashleigh Raso of the law firm of Meshbesher & Spence in Minneapolis.

In a nearly identical complaint, Cantrell also had alleged that he suffered an infection in February 2011 during knee-replacement surgery. His complaint cited the same handful of studies mentioned by Acosta. Cantrell was represented by attorney Seth Sharrock Webb of the law firm of Brown and Crouppen in St. Louis Missouri.

A third complaint was dismissed this summer by an Illinois judge at the request of plaintiff Carol Wiltshire.

The dismissals come as leading health-care experts continue to advise hospitals to use forced-air warming devices such as the Bair Hugger system.

 Both ECRI Institute, a top medical research organization, and the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, which advises hospitals on infection control, have recommended that hospitals use the devices. A large body of research indicates the use of patient warming can reduce the risk of surgical infection.