Bellwether case dismissed with prejudice

Plaintiffs drop case one month after court announced trial sequence

One of the six lawsuits selected to be bellwether cases in the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ system litigation already has been dismissed.

Attorneys for Jeffrey Knuteson asked the court to dismiss their case against 3M this month. Knuteson’s attorneys agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled.

The dismissal came just one month after the federal court overseeing the litigation against 3M announced the sequence of bellwether trials. The trial involving Knuteson, a Wisconsin man who claimed to have developed an infection during a total hip arthroplasty, was slated to be the fourth bellwether trial. Knuteson is represented by Lockridge Grindal Nauen of Minneapolis, which filed the original lawsuit in April 2016.

The cases against the Bair Hugger warming system are consolidated in a multi-district 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 can be 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.

With the Knuteson dismissal, the court now has five cases slated as bellwether trials.

Those cases are:

  • Kamke
  • Nugier
  • Walker
  • Skaar
  • Gareis

The first trial is scheduled to begin in February 2018.