November 26, 2022 Update: 3M will get some insurance coverage for Bair Hugger claims. A federal court in Minnesota ruled this week that 3M must only pay a single deductible for more than 5,000 Bar Hugger lawsuits.
But the insurance company – Federal Insurance Co. is not on the hook for all of 3M’s attorneys’ fees and other defense costs in the warming device lawsuits because only a fraction of the claims fall within the insurance policy period.
May 18, 2022 Update: The Supreme Court rejected 3M’s appeal.
August 23, 2021 Update: Last week a federal appeals court reinstated 5,000 claims that had been dismissed and this litigation is back on. But few lawyers are taking new claims.
Should you bring a Bair Hugger lawsuit if you believe you suffered an infection from a Bair Hugger during surgery? Decide for yourself. But despite some early punches to the face for plaintiffs, there is still a reasonable chance these cases end well for plaintiffs. Let’s talk about these cases, what there are, where they are going, and what are the prospects that the 3M Bair Hugger cases reach a settlement.
What These Bair Hugger Cases Are About
A Bair Hugger device is a temperature management system that is used during surgery. The purpose of the invention is to help the body regulate the appropriate temperature.
The Bair Hugger pushed hot air through a hose into a blanket specially made to work with the device. The hot air produced by Bair Hugger accumulates under the surgical drape covering the patient. This hot air escapes under the surgical drape below the level of the surgical table or over top of it.
Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Device is designed, manufactured, and marketed by Defendants 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc. There are more than 50,000 Bair Hugger FAWs in the United States.
How does it work? The Bair Hugger is a portable heater/blower connected by a flexible hose to a blanket, typically positioned for the patient getting surgery.
Keeping a patient warm is particularly useful during knee and hip replacement surgery because the procedures tend to be very long. The body loses heat increasingly throughout the surgery.
Another thing about metal hip and knee replacement surgery is that your body is particularly prone to infection. Why? The metal helps spread the infection.