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Legally Reviewed By : Brendan A. Smith, Esquire
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Latest Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Updates

On Aug. 8, 2023, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation brought together ten related lawsuits about Bard PowerPort devices with high barium sulfate concentrations allegedly causing injuries. As of July 2024, there were 299 active lawsuits pending in MDL 3081 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

“Victims endure severe and persistent pain from serious injuries, complications, and severe infections caused by using Bard PowerPort devices,” Brendan Smith, a PowerPort attorney with the Simmons Hanly Conroy Law Firm, told Consumer Notice. “Plaintiffs allege the Bard PowerPort device has a flawed catheter component that leads to device fracture, migration, and malfunction.”

Complications include infection, major blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), myocardial infarction (heart attack), pulmonary embolism, and nerve damage, according to Smith.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a notice on March 26, 2020, stating that the manufacturer recalled 178 Bard PowerPort catheters. The recall stated that Bard identified a risk of the device, including a part attachment meant for a different type of catheter.

Shortly after the recall, plaintiffs filed the first lawsuits.

Latest PowerPort Lawsuit Developments
  • July 2024
    U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell discussed discovery for 24 Bard PowerPort bellwether claims with attorneys during a meeting. He plans to schedule the first trials soon and will hold a status conference on August 16, 2024 to follow up.
  • May 2024
    Defendants asked for more medical records for several plaintiffs who may be potential candidates for bellwether test trials.
  • April 2024
    Federal Judge David G. Campbell denies Bard's motion to postpone bellwether trials. The judge instructed attorneys for both parties to adhere to the timetable and present potential bellwether trial cases to the court no later than July 1, 2024.
  • August 2023
    Plaintiffs filed over 50 Bard PowerPort lawsuits. On Aug. 8, 2023, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order to consolidate all claims. U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona was named to preside over the cases.
  • April 2023
    Bard PowerPort lawsuits claimed the device caused injuries from cracking and fracturing, which increased the risk of blood clots, internal damage and infection.
  • March 2020
    The FDA issued a recall notice for multiple Bard PowerPort models due to the inclusion of incorrect tunneler tips.

Judge David G. Campbell, chosen to handle the litigation, has experience with similar cases — notably the IVC Filter MDL, which claimed blood clot filters led to perforations and serious injuries.

Why Are People Filing Bard PowerPort Lawsuits?

People are filing lawsuits against the makers of the Bard PowerPort due to claims of faulty design. These alleged design flaws increase the risk of injury from Bard PowerPort devices, including organ damage, infection and blood clots. The design defects can cause high injection flow rates and a tendency for the catheter to break apart.

Bard PowerPort lawsuits claim the company knew about the problem but failed to warn people adequately.

Allegations Against Defendants
Failure to Warn
Inadequate communication regarding risks and the need for close monitoring.
Knowledge and Concealment
Defendants were aware of PowerPort's risks but continued to market it aggressively as safe, misleading health care providers.
Marketing Misrepresentations
Misled health care providers about the causes of failures, suggesting errors by medical providers instead of design flaws.

The plaintiffs’ claims include that Bard’s negligent actions and omissions directly resulted in their injuries. They said the injuries required major surgery and prolonged medical treatment and caused lasting physical and emotional harm.

Bard PowerPort Injuries Claimed in Lawsuits

In PowerPort lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that their injuries resulted from the high concentration of barium sulfate in the catheter component of PowerPort devices. They claim this defect causes the catheter to weaken, break, move out of place and cause blood clots, among other injuries.

Examples of Severe Injuries Experienced
  • Blood clots
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Hemorrhage
  • Increased risk of pulmonary embolism and stroke
  • Persistent severe pain
  • Tissue, vessel and organ perforations

Who Can File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?

If you received a Bard PowerPort device and experienced a related injury, you could be eligible to file a Bard PowerPort lawsuit. However, only a licensed attorney can definitively determine your eligibility.

Examples of Qualifying Lawsuit Injuries
  • Blood clots (such as heart attacks, strokes, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism)
  • Cardiac punctures
  • Hemorrhage or hematoma (bleeding)
  • Infection
  • Necrosis (tissue death)
  • Pericardial effusion (fluid buildup around the heart)
  • Tearing or perforating of blood vessels, organs or tissue
  • Severe or long-lasting pain

“Victims should prioritize seeking the necessary care and treatment from their medical professionals, which includes removing the catheter product,” Smith said. “Additionally, they should contact a law firm they trust to review their case and protect their rights.”

Record your symptoms and medical issues if you’ve received a Bard PowerPort device. If you’re unsure about your diagnosis, seek legal help to obtain medical records. Contact an attorney promptly if you want to file a lawsuit, as the statute of limitations for Bard PowerPort-related injuries is typically two years. If this time runs out, you won’t be able to file a claim.

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Case Study: Dalila Harris vs. Becton, Dickinson & Company, et al.

One of the first Bard PowerPort lawsuits was on behalf of Dalila Harris. It was part of the Aug. 8, 2023, Transfer Order to the MDL. She had a Bard PowerPort implanted in Independence, Missouri, while being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma.

PowerPort Lawsuit Case Study
Background
Dalila Harris sued Becton, Dickinson & Company, C.R. Bard, Inc., Bard Access Systems, Inc. and others in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, claiming severe injuries from the Bard PowerPort implantable port.
Injuries and Treatment
On Dec. 29, 2017, Harris had a Bard PowerPort implanted for chemotherapy. By Sept. 26, 2018, she developed a thrombus in the catheter, necessitating three years of anticoagulant therapy and surgery to remove the device in December 2021.
Lawsuit Claims
Despite knowing the PowerPort's risks (like thromboembolism and internal perforations), the defendants marketed it as safe, misleading health care providers and failing to warn about the dangers. They also should have paid more attention to proper testing and monitoring.
Damages Sought
Harris seeks compensatory damages for severe physical and emotional injuries, permanent disabilities, medical expenses and economic losses, citing the defendants' negligence as the cause of her suffering.

Bard PowerPort Settlements

Because Bard PowerPort lawsuits are at an early stage, it’s too soon to predict the outcome of a PowerPort settlement. No verdicts or settlements have been made in the Bard PowerPort MDL yet.
Bard has a history of lawsuits, including settlements for defective pelvic mesh products in 2014 and further lawsuits related to marketing these products in 2020.

Currently, Bard faces 23,641 federal lawsuits for its polypropylene hernia mesh products, with claims of various injuries.

Bard also faced over 1,300 federal IVC filter lawsuits and an NBC news investigation revealed 27 deaths caused by inferior vena cava filters. In April 2018, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court awarded Sherr-Una Booker over $3.5 million in damages in one of those lawsuits. Bard settled 8,000 of those lawsuits for an undisclosed amount in 2019.

Editor Lindsay Donaldson contributed to this article.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Last Modified: July 10, 2024

12 Cited Research Articles

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  1. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2024, May 1). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_Actions_Pending-May-1-2024.pdf
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2024, May 23). Medical Device Recalls. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRES/res.cfm?start_search=1&event_id=84914
  3. BD. (2024). PowerPort™ Implantable Port. Retrieved from https://www.bd.com/en-us/products-and-solutions/products/product-families/powerport-implantable-port
  4. Justia Dockets and Filings. (2023, August 24). Dalila Harris v. Becton, Dickinson and Company, et al. Retrieved from https://dockets.justia.com/docket/arizona/azdce/2:2023cv01758/1344174
  5. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2023, August 8). In Re: Bard Implanted Port Catheter Products Liability Litigation. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL3081Transfer_Order723.pdf
  6. Bronstad. A. (2023, July 3). 'Shockingly Large Number of People' Could Sue Over Bard's PowerPort Device. Retrieved from https://www.law.com/2023/07/03/shocking-large-number-of-people-could-sue-over-bards-powerport-device/
  7. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, March 26). Class 2 Recall Power Port Implantable Port. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfRes/res.cfm?id=179655
  8. Casetext. (2020, June 9). Bradburn v. CR Bard, Inc. Retrieved from https://casetext.com/case/bradburn-v-cr-bard-inc
  9. U.S. District Court of Maryland. (2020, June 8). William Wright v. C.R. Bard, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-mdd-1_19-cv-03029/pdf/USCOURTS-mdd-1_19-cv-03029-0.pdf
  10. Health Sciences Authority. (2019, September). Attention: Risk Manager/Materials Manager. Urgent Medical Device Recall Notification. Implantable Ports & Groshong Central Venous Catheter. Retrieved from https://www.hsa.gov.sg/docs/default-source/announcements/field-safety-notices/hsa-6004101-050-19-04_64-fsn.pdf
  11. HarrisMartin Publishing. (2018, July 27). Bard Awarded Summary Judgement on Failure-to-Warn, Fraud Claims in Bellwether IVC Filter Case. Retrieved from https://www.harrismartin.com/publications/4/drugs/articles/22807/bard-awarded-summary-judgment-on-failure-to-warn-fraud-claims in-bellwether-ivc-filter-case/
  12. Sandler, T. et al. (2015, December 31). Why Did Firm Keep Selling Problem Blood-Clot Filters? NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/why-did-firm-keep-selling-problem-blood-clot-filters-n488166