Third bellwether case dismissed; just two of initial six bellwether cases remain

Another bellwether case has been voluntarily dismissed from the 3M Bair Hugger multi-district litigation.

The law firm of Brown & Crouppen, which has aired more than 2,000 advertisements seeking patients who contracted surgical site infections, agreed to dismiss a lawsuit it filed on behalf of Kurtis and Debbie Skaar against 3M.

Brown & Crouppen, claimed that Mr. Skaar developed an infection in 2014 as a result of the use of the Bair Hugger patient warming system. They dismissed the case when it was revealed that the Bair Hugger device was not used in the surgery.

Of the initial six cases chosen for the final bellwether trial pool, just two remain. Three have been voluntarily dismissed from the overall litigation; and one was de-selected as a bellwether case.

More than 4,000 lawsuits have been filed as part of the multi-district litigation. The federal court agreed to hear six initial cases.

The voluntary dismissals of the three bellwether cases – which were initially selected as representative of the group of lawsuits – lend support to the reality that multi-district litigations often attract a significant number of lawsuits with dubious, even frivolous merits.

The first bellwether trial, Gareis v. 3M, is slated for April 2018 in Minnesota federal court. Gareis is a South Carolina man who claims to have contracted an infection during a total hip replacement in 2010.