Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

The Bard PowerPort (also known as the “BardPort”) is a port catheter device implanted just under the skin to allow for easy attachment to a catheter for the intravenous delivery of fluids or medication.

The Bard PowerPort has inherent design and manufacturing flaws that make the device prone to fracturing and migrating out of position. This can cause severe injuries, including internal vascular damage.

Individuals who suffered injuries due to a defective Bard PowerPort device are now bringing product liability lawsuits against the manufacturer of the PowerPort implants. Our firm is currently accepting new cases from anyone who had a Bard PowerPort port cath device implanted and was injured due to a fracture, migration, or other implant failures.

This page provides the latest news and updates in the litigation, explains what these lawsuits are about and who is eligible, and speculates on potential settlement amounts and jury payouts in Bard PowerPort lawsuits.

Our firm is currently accepting new cases from individuals who were injured by a defective Bard PowerPort implant. Call our Bard PowerPort lawyers today at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation, or reach out online.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Updates

Our law firm is committed to keeping victims updated on this litigation.  So before we get into the substance of what these lawsuits are about and our thoughts on what a Bard PowerPort class action settlement might look like, this is the latest news in the MDL and state court lawsuits against Bard.

July 9, 2024:  There are currently 322 cases pending in the MDL, 33 more than we reported last week. There are 47 cases pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey. About one-fourth of those New Jersey plaintiffs are from that state. The rest simply prefer to sue Bard in state court.

July 8, 2024: Last week, On July 1, 2024, the lawyers exchanged lists comprising 24 cases to be included in the prospects to be the first test trial in the MDL.

July 1, 2024: The Bard Implanted Port Catheter MDL grew by approximately 29% last month, from 232 lawsuits to 299.

We thought this litigation would be bigger at the beginning. But that fact that is not bigger is probably a blessing for plaintiffs when it comes to Bard’s willingness to settle these cases without trying to drag it out for ten years.  Bard is in the final process now of settling the hernia mesh lawsuits and it has been very hard to get the company to the settlement finish line.

June 25, 2024: This litigation has had a lot of administrative filings this month – voluntary dismissals, amended lawsuits, answers to complaints, and so forth.  But there have been no meaningful developments and there probably will not be until the next status conference on July 8th.

June 4, 2024: A woman from Oklahoma became one of the most recent plaintiffs to join the PowerPort class action MDL against Bard. The plaintiff had the PowerPort M.R.I. Implantable Port surgically installed in 2017. The Complaint alleges that defects in the PowerPort device caused thrombosis, along with other health complications. The case was filed directly in the MDL using the short form complaint.

June 3, 2024: The PowerPort class action is starting to post some steady growth. Another 45 new cases were added to the MDL over the last month, that is just a slight decrease from the 50 new cases we saw in April. There are now 232 total cases pending in the MDL.

May 27, 2024: Judge Campbell held his seventh Case Management Conference in the Bard PowerPort MDL-3081. Here are the highlights:

  • ESI Production: Agreement was reached on search terms for electronic document production from the first 30 custodians, with a completion deadline of July 1, 2024. Discussions are ongoing for the next 30 custodians, with a completion deadline of August 15, 2024.
  • DocuShare Documents: No agreement was reached on the substantial completion deadline for DocuShare documents. An update will be provided at the next conference.
  • Successor Liability: Parties will discuss efforts to reach a stipulation on this matter in the next joint report.
    ⦁ Discovery Agreements: Agreements were made on discovery categories, including non-IPC devices, ethanol locks, and 3CG catheter position technology, and foreign discovery. Non-IPC devices are devices other than the Implanted Port Catheters (IPCs), specifically peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and central venous catheters (CVCs). For non-IPC devices, discovery is limited to documents relevant to plaintiffs’ defect claims. Defendants will produce documents on ethanol lock therapy for IPCs and relevant documents for 3CG technology. Foreign discovery will include communications with foreign regulators, adverse event discussions, and documents relevant to U.S. market considerations, particularly focusing on the plaintiffs’ defect theories.
  • Inconsistent Information: Two plaintiffs, Kessler and Gay, have been asked to clarify inconsistencies in their information within 14 days.
  • Medical Records: Defendants allege six plaintiffs have not produced all required medical records. Plaintiffs have 14 days to respond.
  • Port Body Claims: Plaintiffs must amend their Plaintiff Profile Forms to assert port body claims, i.e., claims that relate to the physical structure and design of the port catheter itself. Port body plaintiffs will remain in the Initial plaintiff pool for bellwether selection, but issues may be raised if new claims adversely affect this process.

The eighth Case Management Conference is scheduled for July 9, 2024, via Zoom. Parties are to file a joint update by July 8, 2024.

May 14, 2024: The MDL judge conducted the sixth Case Management Conference for ongoing legal proceedings. Several decisions were made, including the scheduling of the next conference for May 24, 2024, to be conducted via Zoom. By May 22, 2024, parties are required to file a joint memorandum updating the court on various topics discussed.

Significant progress was noted in establishing completion deadlines for non-custodial data sources, with deadlines ranging from June 17, 2024, for certain databases, to August 30, 2024, for secondary priority sources. However, a deadline for documents from the DocuShare system remains undecided, and an update is expected at the next conference. Additionally, discussions will continue regarding a potential stipulation on successor liability aimed at reducing discovery obligations for everyone.

Further issues include the management of Plaintiff Profile Forms (PPFs), with some cases potentially being excluded from initial selection processes due to incomplete submissions. This is a problem in every mass tort.

Bard has also raised concerns regarding the proportionality of discovery and the consistency of the medical records and PPFs provided. Specific deadlines have been set for resolving these discrepancies and for plaintiffs to address deficiencies pointed out by the defense. The court expects updates on these matters and full compliance with required document submissions by the specified dates.

May 1, 2024: Last month, we saw around 50 new port-a-cath lawsuits added to the Bard PowerPort MDL. That volume fell back a bit in April, with just 33 new cases transferred into the MDL. There are now 187 pending cases.

April 22, 2024: Two new lawsuits were transferred into the MDL yesterday.

April 15, 2024: A Texas woman filed a BardPower Port lawsuit last week claiming that her defective BardPort MRI Implantable Port implanted in 2018 has caused her to suffer atrial fibrillation.

This is not a common injury our lawyers have seen.  We are mostly seeing infection, thrombosis, and catheter fracture claims.

April 9, 2024: A dispute has arisen over whether Tim Ring, the former Bard CEO from 2003 until 2017, should be designated as a document custodian whose records are subject to discovery.

Plaintiffs contend that Ring’s position and role in the company make him a crucial source of information relevant to their case. They argue that documents in his possession could provide vital insights into the company’s decisions and knowledge regarding the issues under litigation.

Bard is pushing back because companies want to keep upper management out of it whenever possible. So, defendants challenge the necessity and relevance of including Ring as a custodian, suggesting that the information sought from his documents is not unique and could be obtained from other sources already identified for discovery. They also raise concerns about the proportionality of reviewing and producing documents from Ring, given his high-level executive status and the broad scope of his communications and responsibilities.

These pre-trial discovery battles matter and the custodian of records discovery can often be pivotal in a class action lawsuit.  A custodian of records, in legal terms, is someone who has control over and responsibility for the maintenance of an organization’s documents.

Identifying key custodians like Ring is crucial in complex legal disputes, especially those consolidated into an MDL. The documents they manage can offer critical evidence regarding a company’s internal operations, awareness of product issues, and the veracity of public statements. This evidence can play a significant role in shaping the course of litigation by revealing important details about a company’s actions and responses to emerging problems related to their product.

April 8, 2024:  There are 154 Bard PowerPort lawsuits pending in the MDL. Plaintiffs have also sued Bard over Powerport injuries in state court.  There are 27 cases pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey.

April 5, 2024: The order I neglected to mention yesterday is one of the more important orders.  CMO #20 is a preservation order that outlines a detailed protocol for handling, storing, and preserving biomaterial evidence involved in the litigation.

The protocol specifies the handling of materials existing in the possession of plaintiffs, their representatives, counsel, or other storage vendors, and materials at medical facilities. It emphasizes the preservation of materials that have been analyzed, tested, or not yet analyzed or tested, ensuring equal access and analysis opportunities for all parties. The order is really a comprehensive plan to document the chain of custody for the materials and outlines procedures for their preservation, storage, and division.

For materials not yet explanted, the parties will use Steelgate as the central storage vendor, following agreed protocols for their preservation and storage. Bard is familiar with Steelgate from the hernia mesh litigation.  The order also addresses the evaluation of materials, allowing for non-destructive gross evaluation by both parties and outlining steps for additional testing if needed.

This order also provides guidelines for handling materials from medical facilities that do not release explanted devices or related materials.  It also creates protocols for the division of samples if both parties request it, ensuring mutual agreement on the process.

The hope is that this process gives plaintiffs’ and defendants’ experts have the opportunity to examine the materials at an appropriate time in discovery.

April 4, 2024: Judge Campbell issue a fury or orders today. I may not cover it all in this post, but let’s hit the highlights:

  • A Second Amended Case Management Order (CMO 7) was approved with minor modifications on the Short-Form Complaint.
  • Proposals for CMOs on privilege log protocol, evidence preservation, and deposition protocol were reviewed. The court adopted these with specified changes, including a revised division of deposition time among parties.  Depositions are capped at seven hours.  How the time is spilt between the parties depends on the type of witness and the court articulated different rules for different types of witnesses.
  • Bellwether Selection Process: The existing schedule remains in effect, with a note that any necessary adjustments due to new filings should be promptly discussed with the court.
  • Common-Issue Discovery: Agreement on document search methodology and custodian identities was noted, with a rolling basis production schedule set for custodial files. Disagreements on certain production details were addressed, with provisions for further review if needed.
  • Plaintiff and Defendant Profile Forms: Ongoing issues with incomplete Plaintiff Profile Forms (PPFs) are a concern. May 1, 2024, deadline for completion. A resolution was reached regarding the information required in Defendant Profile Forms (DPFs).
  • Plaintiffs in cases filed, transferred, or removed to this MDL before this Order have 30 days to amend complaints using the Short-Form Complaint, with a failure to comply possibly leading to dismissal after a show-cause order.  New cases should directly use the Short-Form Complaint. Non-compliance can to potential dismissal after Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel’s notification to the court.  Attorneys filing Short-Form Complaints must have or obtain a District of Arizona CM/ECF log-in, with those lacking one required to file in paper form and apply for Pro Hac Vice admission.
  • Defendants waive the service of process for cases using the Short-Form Complaint, with specified procedures for waiver requests.

April 1, 2024: The Bard PowerPort class action MDL continues to grow very slowly. After adding 10 new cases last month, the PowerPort MDL now has a total of 116 cases. The MDL started with 50 cases when it was created last summer. Since then, it has only averaged about 14 new cases per month.

March 13, 2024: Smaller MDLs should move fast, and this one seems to be moving along fairly quickly. Judge Campbell put out an order after the fourth Case Management Conference held earlier this month. Here’s a summary of the key points and deadlines mentioned in the order:

  • Adding Port Reservoir Allegations to the MDL
  • Plaintiffs must file an Amended Master Complaint that includes port reservoir claims by March 27, 2024.
  • Plaintiff Profile Forms (PPFs) should be amended to include original port-reservoir questions for all PPFs due on or after March 15, 2024. Revisions to PPFs produced before that date must be submitted to Defendants by May 1, 2024.

Discovery Issues

The court addressed concerns about the size of the MDL, the bellwether process, and specific discovery issues, deciding not to limit ESI (electronic discovery) custodians or further written discovery as proposed by Defendants.

A schedule was set for identifying ESI custodians and search terms, with a final report due by March 27, 2024, and a video conference to resolve disputes scheduled for March 29, 2024.

Deadline for Substantial Completion

The court proposed breaking depositions into three phases and identified a need for a rolling document production schedule tied to these depositions. The parties are to propose a Case Management Order on this subject by March 27, 2024.

Plaintiff Profile Forms (PPFs)

The court highlighted issues with incomplete PPFs and set a deadline for full PPF production by May 1, 2024.

This is all good direction. The path to a bellwether trial is on.  (See the November 20th update below for what that entails.) The faster these cases move forward, the faster PowerPort lawsuits are in a position for settlement, which is where our lawyers think this litigation is going.

March 7, 2024: There is some confusion over whether there has been a Bard PowerPort recall. In 2020, the FDA issued a Class 2 recall for three Bard PowerPort models. This recall addressed issues like incorrect tunneler components, potentially causing extended surgery times. But the chemo port lawsuits we are talking about addressing the design flaws in the Bard PowerPort were not the reason for that recall.

March 1, 2024:  A group of 7 new Bard PowerPort cases were transferred into the MDL over the last month. That brings the total number of cases pending in the MDL up to 107.

February 23, 2024: Two suggestions of death motions were filed in the Bard PowerPoint class action this month, underscoring the severity of the injuries in this litigation and the need to get victims justice sooner rather than later.

A “suggestion of death” within the context of legal proceedings, such as in the Bard PowerPoint class action, is a formal notification to the court indicating that a party involved in the lawsuit has died. This procedural step is significant because the death of a party can have considerable implications on the continuation and outcome of the litigation. It requires changing the name of the parties and requires new counts in the complaint for wrongful death and a survival action.

February 18, 2024: The next status conference in this litigation will be on March 1st.

February 2, 2024: In January 2024, 26 new cases were added to the Bard PowerPort class action MDL. This is the highest monthly volume of new cases since the MDL was created last year, and it brings the total number of pending claims to 99.

January 30, 2024: There have been four new Bard PowerPort suits filed since our last update.  But there have been no new suits in the last 11 days.

January 16, 2024: The total number of Bard PowerPort lawsuits filed in 2023 is 69. Four new suits were filed in 2024, bringing the total to 73.

This will never be huge litigation, but you will see the numbers increase more rapidly over the course of 2024.

January 12, 2024: The JPML Panel will meet later this month to consider slightly expanding the scope of the Bard PowerPort MDL class action lawsuit.

Most PowerPort lawsuits cite a common defect in the Bard PowerPort involving barium sulfate in the catheter material, which is said to degrade over time, causing potential catastrophic fractures.

How would the litigation expand? It may incorporate claims related to defects in the port reservoir into the MDL, which is already established for lawsuits involving Bard port catheter defects.

This is because new Bard PowerPort problems have emerged, targeting defects in the port reservoir, specifically citing the use of polyoxymethylene in the plastic components as a factor in device failures. These unique allegations argue that this material choice, known for oxidative degradation, reduces mechanical properties, making the device prone to complications that include fracturing or bacterial colonization. This can cause severe infections. Plaintiffs contend that the injuries from these reservoir defects are substantially similar to those from barium sulfate-infused catheters.

Bard wants a narrow MDL. The company has sought to prevent the transfer of three recent lawsuits to the MDL that are raising this issue of reservoir defects distinct from the existing PowerPort catheter material defect claims. Bard asserts that merging these port-a-cath suits would necessitate expanding discovery scopes, engaging new experts, and potentially allocating bellwether trials to these specific allegations.

Bard is right. But consolidation of these medical port lawsuits is the best path for everyone (including Bard, actually).

January 8, 2024:  A new lawsuit has been initiated against four key defendants about the PowerPort isp M.R.I. Implantable Port: Becton, Dickinson and Company, C.R. Bard, Inc., Bard Access Systems, Inc., and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc.

A Mesa, Arizona, man underwent implantation of the device in June 2021 and is alleged to have suffered an infection attributed to flaws in the PowerPort isp M.R.I. Implantable Port. The case was directly filed in MDL-3081.

January 1, 2024: Last week, the PowerPort MDL Judge granted the parties an extension on the deadline for the submission of a joint order regarding the preservation of evidence. Judge Campbell also set a status conference hearing for January 8, 2024.

December 18, 2023: Only six new cases were added to the Bard PowerPort class action MDL over the last month. That brings the current number of cases in this MDL up to 69. Only 19 new cases have been added since the MDL was created five months ago.

December 1, 2023: Recently, Judge Campbell issued a group of 6 Case Management Orders (CMO 6-12), which cover all of the rules and procedures for how the MDL will proceed over the next 18 months. The orders outline the details of how the cases will move through discovery, followed by a bellwether selection process. Judge Campbell also addressed the creation of a master complaint, the use of short-form complaints, direct filing in the MDL, and plaintiff fact sheets.

It is great to see Judge Campbell pushing this MDL class action lawsuit forward and looking for ways to streamline the litigation process.

One helpful feature that usually takes longer to implement is a process for allowing every Bard PowerPort lawsuit in federal court to be filed directly in the MDL.  This eliminates the need to file in different district courts.

A Master Complaint detailing the collective allegations has been filed, enabling plaintiffs to use a Short-Form Complaint for new cases. This short form will specify the particular Bard Power Port model used and the specific injuries claimed.

November 21, 2023: Only two new cases were added to the Bard PowerPort class action MDL over the last month, bringing the current pending cases up to 64. The MDL had 50 cases when it was created three months ago. This growth rate will likely pick up as we head into next year.

November 20, 2023:  Judge Campbell continues to push the Bard PowerPort lawsuits forward.

During a case status conference on Thursday, November 16, the judge reviewed the progress and future litigation management plans. BardPowerport attorneys had previously submitted a joint memorandum on November 9, 2023, detailing the issues for the conference, including a proposal for a bellwether trial plan in the Bard PowerPort litigation.

What are bellwether trials? A bellwether trial is a legal process where a small number of cases are selected from a larger group of similar lawsuits to be tried first.  Usually, the MDL judge will preside over these early trials.  If the lawsuits go to trial – there may be a global settlement before we ever get to a trial – the outcomes of these trials are used to predict trends and calculate PowerPort settlement amounts for the remaining cases in the larger group.

The trial plan involves both parties exchanging lists of 24 cancer port lawsuits (totaling 48) by July 1, 2024, to form the initial plaintiff pool. From this pool, after an initial discovery process, 15 cases will be chosen for what they are calling Discovery Group 1 by December 17, 2024. Each party will select five cases, and the remaining five will be chosen jointly.

If you are not familiar with mass tort litigation, this may seem slow-moving. But it is lightning fast in a class action lawsuit like this.

November 14, 2023: For the latest updates on the Bard PowerPort, see our new PowerPort Lawsuits video.

November 1, 2023: Let’s look at the math of the Bard PowerPort class action. There were 300,000 devices installed nationwide, and Bard dominated the competition with a market share of around 70%.  So that could be approximately 8,000 to 12,000.  Yet there are only 62 lawsuits in the MDL.  Why?

It is still early in the Bard PowerPort class action. But that is not a full answer.  I’m not sure that doctors and patients properly identify the PowerPort as a possible cause of injury. That could change as awareness grows.

October 27, 2023: With over 60 Bard PowerPort lawsuits already consolidated into a class action MDL in federal court, a larger group of PowerPort lawsuits will now be consolidated into a New Jersey state court version of an MDL. New Jersey’s MCL (multi-county litigation) process works like the MDL process in federal courts. A group of plaintiffs with PowerPort cases pending in New Jersey have filed a motion asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to form a new MCL for the Bard PowerPort cases. The motion claims that over 500 PowerPort cases will be filed in New Jersey very soon.

October 16, 2023: There are now 62 pending cases in the Bard PowerPort catheter class action MDL in federal court. Over the last month, 12 new cases were transferred into the MDL. We don’t expect to see big monthly volume numbers in this MDL for the first few months, but we could eventually start seeing over 100 new cases per month.

October 11, 2023: A woman in Chicago became one of the most recent plaintiffs to file a Bard PowerPort lawsuit. The woman had a PowerPort implanted in her neck for breast cancer chemotherapy. In just nine months, the PowerPort had fragmented, and pieces became lost in her heart and veins. She had to undergo several surgeries to remove the fragments from her heart and other areas. Her lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Chicago and will become part of the new Bard PowerPort MDL.

October 2, 2023: The new Bard PowerPort MDL has been assigned to Judge David Campbell in the U.S. District Court for Arizona. Judge Campbell is a conservative appointed by President Bush in 2003. He was in private practice in Phoenix before being appointed to the bench and is widely respected.

September 17, 2023: The Bard PowerPort class action MDL is already posting significant growth in its first two months. Last month, there were just ten pending cases in the MDL. However, over the last 30 days, 40 new cases have been added, bringing the current total up to 50.

August 17, 2023: In the most recently filed Bard PowerPort lawsuit in the new MDL class action, a Kansas woman received a Bard Power Port implant through her right internal jugular vein to facilitate her breast cancer chemotherapy. Years later, she reported complications related to her port, which included a hematoma, pain in her arm, and a high fever. The healthcare professionals conducted an X-ray and labs, suspecting a potential bloodstream infection.

She had her infected catheter surgically removed. Due to the flawed device, the lawsuit alleges that she endured and continues to experience multiple adverse effects due to the flawed device. These encompass several hospital visits due to infections, heightened risk of enduring severe, lasting harm, acute emotional turmoil, and a perpetual dread of impending complications, notably bloodstream infections.

Her Bard PowerPort lawsuit alleges that despite being aware of the inherent dangers of the PowerPort, the defendants deliberately kept the plaintiff and her doctors in the dark. Before the plaintiff’s implantation, numerous PowerPort-related infection cases had been reported to the Defendants, absent any errors on the healthcare providers’ end.

Yet, the complaint alleges that the Defendants aggressively promoted the PowerPort as a safe option. Through various marketing channels, such as usage instructions and sales rep interactions with the plaintiff’s doctors, they misleadingly attributed these complications to reasons other than the catheter’s design and material. There was a blatant lack of transparency with the Plaintiff and her physicians regarding the true risk of infections tied to the PowerPort.

August 12, 2023:  As expected, we now have a Bard PowerPort class action lawsuit. A federal panel of judges has ruled that Bard PowerPort lawsuits filed in federal court will be consolidated under a single judge in an MDL class action.

Whether Bard realizes it or not, this is the best thing for everyone. A class action will streamline pretrial discovery and make a Bard PowerPoint settlement much easier to get down the road.

The case number for this class action is 2:23-md-03081.

August 2, 2023: We put up a new BardPower Port video today explaining the port-a-cath litigation for those who prefer getting information that way.

July 25, 2023: We will take a step further to a Bard PowerPort class action lawsuit. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is poised to hear oral testimonies this week as to whether to make a (sort of) Bard PowerPort class action lawsuit filed centralized under a single judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

This process, known as Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), can benefit plaintiffs. The recent months have seen a surge in product liability lawsuits across various U.S. District Courts nationwide, with each suit voicing similar accusations regarding complications from Bard PowerPort or comparable Bard implantable port catheter systems, which are implanted beneath the skin to allow for simplified medication delivery, such as chemotherapy.

The advantage of consolidating these cases into an MDL class action lies in the increased efficiency and consistency in rulings, which can lead to fairer outcomes for victims. Moreover, MDL helps avoid the duplication of discovery efforts, reducing the litigation costs for plaintiffs.

June 21, 2023: Despite the escalating number of federal lawsuits against Bard PowerPort, all citing similar allegations of severe complications due to the port catheter design, the manufacturer is resisting the push to consolidate these lawsuits under a single judge for pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs claim the Bard Ports are flawed by design, leading to fractures, infections, blood clots, and other complications.

June 12, 2023: A recently filed motion asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all Bard PowerPort product liability lawsuits in federal courts into a new class action MDL. According to the motion, right now, 10 PowerPort lawsuits are pending in various federal districts. However, the motion indicates that the number of cases will increase significantly over the next year.

About the Bard PowerPort

The Bard PowerPort is one of several varieties of port/catheter systems that have been designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold by Bard Access Systems, Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Becton, Dickinson, and Company (BD). The PowerPort is a totally implantable vascular access device designed to provide repeated access to the vascular system to deliver medication, intravenous fluids, parenteral nutrition solutions, and blood products.

The Bard PowerPort Implantable Port, colloquially known as the “PowerPort,” is a medical device crafted, distributed, and sold by an unnamed corporate group. The PowerPort belongs to a category of devices called port/catheter systems. Designed to facilitate repeated access to a patient’s vascular system, it delivers medication, intravenous fluids, blood products, and parenteral nutrition solutions directly into the bloodstream. Surgically inserted beneath the skin, the PowerPort stays implanted within the patient.

Its structure comprises two main elements: an injection port and a polyurethane catheter. The injection port, characterized by a raised center or “septum,” serves as the area where the needle is inserted to deliver medication. From here, the medication travels through a flexible tube, the catheter, and enters the bloodstream.

The medication is carried from the port into the bloodstream through a small, flexible tube called a catheter inserted into a blood vessel. The PowerPort is used on patients who require repeated and prolonged access to the vascular system for IV administration of fluids or medication.

Chronoflex AL

The catheter part of the PowerPort is made from a polyurethane material called Chronoflex AL. This material is a big point of contention in the Bard PowerPort lawsuits. A growing number of lawsuits alleging a flaw in the chemical design and manufacturing of the Chronoflex catheters resulted in the PowerPort being weaker and less durable than it should have been. As a result of these inherent flaws, the PowerPort is prone to fracturing, migrating, and otherwise malfunctioning after being implanted.

The polyurethane in the catheter, known as Chronoflex AL, sourced from a biomaterials supplier named AdvanSourceBiomaterials Corporation, has been controversial. This catheter contains a mixture of polyurethane and barium sulfate, which increases its visibility in radiologic studies. Over time, the barium sulfate particles dissociate from the catheter’s surface, resulting in microfractures and other structural alterations that compromise the catheter’s mechanical properties.

Worse still, allegations have arisen that the manufacturer used an excessively high concentration of barium sulfate particles in the production process, leading to issues such as improper mixing and the formation of barium sulfate and air pockets throughout the catheter body. These manufacturing defects, it’s claimed, led to an irregular catheter surface riddled with fissures, pits, and cracks – a prime location for the accumulation and proliferation of harmful microbes or fungi, significantly escalating the risk of infection and sepsis.

Injuries Linked to the Defective PowerPort

The manufacturing and design problems with the Bard PowerPort make the implant highly susceptible to fracturing after being implanted. The fracturing of the port implant can often cause it to migrate and cause vascular damage. The PowerPort is also prone to a number of other malfunctions.

Fracture and migration of the PowerPort have led to a variety of severe injuries, including bleeding; cardiac/pericardial tamponade (pressure caused by a collection of blood in the area around the heart); thromboembolism; infection; cardiac arrhythmia, severe and persistent pain; and perforations of tissue, vessels, and organs, or the need for additional surgeries to remove the defective device. Many of these complications can even be life-threatening.

So the plaintiffs tend to fall into one of these categories:

Some of the more common injuries related to the failure or malfunction of the Bard PowerPort implant are:

  • Infection: Situations where individuals have developed infections or sepsis due to using the Bard PowerPort device, which can lead to severe health consequences and require extensive medical treatment.
  • Catheter Fracture: Instances where the catheter of the Bard PowerPort device has broken or fractured, potentially causing severe health risks and complications. The PowerPort lawsuits alleged this is because the product was made so poorly.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: Instances where the use of the Bard PowerPort device has led to the formation of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), posing a significant risk to the individual’s health and potentially requiring additional medical interventions.
  • Catheter Migration: Cases where the catheter of the device has moved from its intended position, leading to potential cardiac issues and other concerns requiring treatment.
  • Vascular Damage:  Perforation of veins or other tissue by the PowerPort is also a concern. The fear is the device causes perforations or damage to blood vessels or surrounding tissues, resulting in complications and the need for further medical attention.

Bard Had Reason to Know About the Problems With the PowerPort

Soon after the PowerPort was introduced on the market, Bard began receiving many adverse event reports (“AERs”) from healthcare providers reporting that the PowerPort was fracturing post-implantation. Bard also received large numbers of AERs reporting that the implant was found to have perforated internal vasculature.

As a result of these reports, Bard was aware or should have been aware that PowerPort had a substantially higher failure rate than other similar products on the market. Bard should also have been aware that the problems with the PowerPort were related to flaws in the Chronoflex material used to make the device.

In March 2020, the FDA issued a class 2 recall for three models of the Bard PowerPort. The recall cited issues such as bloodstream infections, device displacement, catheter breakage, and thrombosis. Each patient reported distinct issues related to the PowerPort. (To be clear, there is no active recall for the Bard PowerPort.)

Failure to Warn

Soon after the PowerPort’s release, Defendants received numerous adverse event reports (AERs) about infections and internal perforations. These included severe injuries like hemorrhages, cardiac issues, pain, tissue perforations, and even deaths.

Bard Doubled Down

The PowerPort also had a higher failure rate than competitors, but the Defendants didn’t warn users. Bard PowerPort lawsuits allege that they hid the severity of PowerPort-related complications. So instead of improving the PowerPort or issuing warnings, the Defendants pushed forward and aggressively marketed it as safe despite knowing its issues. As evidence stacked against them, the Defendants’ attempts at damage control seemed insincere and opportunistic. They launched a new product line, marketing it as an “enhanced” version. Still, skeptics quickly pointed out the similarities to the flawed PowerPort, understandably questioning whether the enhancements were genuine.

As a result, the lawsuits allege the defendants not only failed to warn but intentionally misled patients and medical professionals about the safety of the PowerPort system. They claim that the manufacturer knowingly put a dangerous product on the market without adequately warning the users about potential risks. This alleged failure to inform users about the product’s issues is a central point in the current wave of lawsuits and an opportunity for plaintiffs to receive punitive damages.

Complaints Continued

With each case, the legal complaints have become increasingly alarming. One of the chief allegations centers on the manufacturer’s apparent refusal to modify the PowerPort’s design to make it safer. Despite accumulating evidence of the device’s risks, the defendants are accused of prioritizing profit over patient safety, choosing to push a flawed product onto the market.

Critics argue that this neglectful attitude towards safety is not only unethical but also illegal.

Patients who underwent procedures with the PowerPort were often left in the dark about the device’s dangers. Without this critical knowledge, they were exposed to an increased risk of infection and sepsis as barium sulfate loss from the catheter’s surface continued, allegedly without any warning from the defendants.

Worse still, plaintiffs assert that the defendants, aware of the device’s flaws, did nothing to rectify the problem. Instead, they continued to actively and aggressively market the PowerPort as a safe device despite their knowledge of numerous reports of thromboembolism and other severe injuries related to its use.

In the wake of these accusations, a string of lawsuits has emerged, arguing for the defendants’ culpability in causing patients unnecessary suffering. These patients were reportedly prescribed and implanted with PowerPorts, not knowing that the devices were, according to allegations, defective and prone to precipitating a host of life-threatening complications.

Bard’s Internal Documents Will Be Key

The discovery of Bard’s internal documents will be the keystone in the ongoing legal battles surrounding the PowerPort device. Expect many skirmishes in pre-trial discovery, as every piece of information is crucial. Although all relevant documents have yet to be produced, plaintiffs’ lawyers suspect that Bard had long been aware of the significant risks associated with PowerPort. These internal documents are anticipated to reveal this hidden knowledge.

In mass tort cases like this, uncovering evidence that a company knowingly concealed product risks is like finding a smoking gun, with far-reaching implications. Such documents would substantiate claims that Bard acted with gross negligence or even malicious intent, and these findings are critical as they can heavily influence the jury’s decision on punitive damages.

The Possibility of Punitive Damages

The risk of punitive damages drives settlement amounts. Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct is found to be especially harmful and deserving of punishment beyond compensatory damages. The goal is to deter similar behavior in the future.

If the internal documents indeed show a profound level of deception, this could significantly increase the settlement amounts in Bard PowerPort lawsuits. Juries could theoretically impose substantial punitive damages to penalize Bard for their actions and to send a clear message to other companies about the importance of transparency and the prioritization of patient safety. In the hernia mesh litigation, which dominates Bard’s legal department resources right now, Bard has been able to avoid punitive damages.  Juries have largely ruled against Bard in those cases. But their conduct was not found to be so egregious to warrant the imposition of punitive damages.

So these internal documents are not just crucial pieces of evidence; they are central to the plaintiffs’ case. They highlight the extent of Bard’s awareness and potential misconduct, which, if proven, underscores the gravity of the situation and the justification for higher settlement amounts or larger jury payouts.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuits – Core Claims

Over the last few years, the defects in the PowerPort have led to many Bard PowerPort lawsuits. These lawsuits are being filed by individuals who had the Bard PowerPort implanted and were seriously injured when the PowerPort fractured or malfunctioned post-implantation.

The lawsuits are being filed against the manufacturer, Bard Access Systems Inc., and its parent company, Beckton Dickinson. The product liability lawsuits, now a class action lawsuit in Arizona that houses all federal cases against Bard, allege that Bard was aware of the problems with the device. They also allege that rather than alter the design of the PowerPort to make it safer or adequately warn of the dangers associated with the PowerPort; Bard continued to actively and aggressively market the device as safe despite their knowledge of numerous reports of catheter fracture, infection, and other serious injuries.

Moreover, the lawsuits claim that Bard’s warnings suggested that fracture of the device could only occur if the physician incorrectly placed the device such that “compression or pinch-off” was allowed to occur. In reality, however, Bard knew internally these devices were fracturing and causing severe injuries due to defects in the design, manufacturing, and lack of adequate warnings. In other words, Bard tried to blame the flaws in the device on the doctors.

Gist of the Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Allegations

So, while there are a lot of ancillary claims, there are three main thrusts behind every Bard PowerPort lawsuit:

  1. Bard’s negligent failure to provide adequate warnings;
  2. Bard’s negligent design of the PowerPort and
  3. strict liability based on a manufacturing defect.

Who is Eligible to File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?

Anyone who meets the following criteria may be eligible to file a Bard PowerPort lawsuit and seek financial compensation:

  • You had a Bard PowerPort device (or another Bard port/cath device) implanted
  • Your Bard PowerPort fractured, migrated, or otherwise malfunctions post-implantation
  • You suffered severe physical injuries as a direct result of the problems experienced with your PowerPort implant

Bard PowerPort Complications & Failures

The design flaws and manufacturing issues with the Bard PowerPort have made the device prone to 3 primary complications or post-implantation failures. These three primary complications are described below.

Fracture of the PowerPort

The most common failure or complication experienced with the Bard PowerPort is a fracture of the port. The flaws with the material that the PowerPort is made from make it brittle. As a result, the tubing and other parts of the device are prone to fracture or break off and become lodged in the patient’s vascular system. Fractures of the PowerPort can lead to very serious injuries and vascular damage.

Migration of the PowerPort

The same design flaws that make the Bard PowerPort likely to fracture also make it prone to post-implantation migration (moving out of its original position). The migration usually involves the flexible tube parts inserted into the blood vessel. Migration can occur by itself or with a fracture of the Bard PowerPort.

PowerPort Infection

The flawed nature of the material that the Bard PowerPort is made out of allows bacteria to enter when the material fractures or becomes degraded. As a result, infections originating at the port site are the third major complication associated with this device.

What Do You Expect for Bard PowerPort Settlement Amounts?

Our Bard PowerPort lawyers believe these are very strong lawsuits. Many of the claims we have involve significant injuries and we believe it can be proved the Bard is responsible. We think the average settlement payout for the PowerPort lawsuits will be over $300,000 with some claims exceeding $1 million.

Our projections are different for lawsuits that go to trial. There is a chance for punitive damages and, again, we think there are strong claim. The average successful verdict would likely be well in excess of $10 million.

Is it premature to speculate about settlement figures and jury awards at this stage in the litigation? Without a doubt. Yet, attorneys often develop early assessments of case values, and we believe in the importance of sharing these insights. However, it’s crucial to take these opinions with a grain of caution.

Contact Us About a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

Our firm is currently accepting new cases from individuals who were injured by a defective Bard PowerPort implant. Contact us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

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