Eligible for a Bard PowerPort lawsuit?
Lawsuit Filed After Bard PowerPort Fractured and Catheter Piece Lodged in Heart
According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, dangerous design defects caused a Bard PowerPort to fracture months after it was implanted for chemotherapy injections needed to treat a Texas woman’s breast cancer, causing pieces of the catheter to break off and work its way into her heart.
The complaint (PDF) was filed last week by Brandy Songy, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, pursuing damages from C.R. Bard, Inc., Bard Access Systems, Inc., and their parent company, Beckton, Dickinson and Company, as defendants.
The Bard PowerPort is a vascular access device, which is implanted below the skin to provide a catheter port that allows the easy delivery of medications to a patient’s blood stream. It consists mainly of an injection port, where the needle is inserted to deliver medications, and a polyurethane catheter tube which carries the drug into the blood vessel.
Unlike other implanted ports, such as Port-a-cath or Mediport, the Bard PowerPort is marketed as a special type of port catheter, which is intended to withstand higher injection pressures. However, Songy now joins a growing number of individuals nationwide who are pursuing Bard PowerPort lawsuits, alleging that the catheter tube is prone to fracture and rupture, which can cause the drugs to leak into the body or result in life-threatening infections, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other complications.
Bard Port Catheter Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, Songy received the Bard PowerPort in August 2022, so she could receive breast cancer chemotherapy injections. However, in early last month, in July 2023, Songy underwent emergency heart catheterization after experiencing prolonged episodes of heart palpitation and shortness of breath, and it was discovered tht a five centimeter-long piece of the Bard PowerPort broke off and traveled into her heart. She filed the lawsuit just weeks later, on July 25, 2023.
Songy indicated in the complain that she still has to undergo additional surgery to remove portions of the fractured Bard PowerPort that remain in her heart after the first surgery, and will have to undergo further heart evaluations and medical monitoring in the future.
According to the lawsuit, Bard knew or should have known of the risk of the PowerPort fracturing, but intentionally concealed those risks from patients and the medical community.
“Numerous reports of catheter fractures and migration in the absence of medical provider error were recorded and reported to Defendants before the Device was implanted into plaintiff,” Songy’s lawsuit states. “Despite knowledge of such injuries, Defendants continued to actively and aggressively market the Device as safe. Defendants utilized marketing communications – including the Device’s Instructions for Use and direct communications to Plaintiff’s healthcare providers – to intentionally mislead Plaintiff’s healthcare providers into believing these failures were caused by factors other than catheter design and composition.”
Songy’s lawsuit presents claims of negligence, failure to warn, design defect, manufacturing defect, common law fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and gross negligence. She seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.
August 2023 Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update
Given similar allegations raised in other complaints brought throughout the federal court system in recent months, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) heard oral arguments last week over whether to centralize and consolidate all Bard PowerPort fracture, rupture and leak lawsuits.
Bard has opposed the creation of a PowerPort lawsuit MDL (multidistrict litigation), arguing that each of the claims should continue in different federal courts, without one judge presiding over the common discovery that may impact each claim.
The manufacturer suggested it has agreed to pay Bard PowerPort settlements in previously filed lawsuits, indicating that it has been able to resolve claims within an average of about 18 months, usually without any depositions being conducted. However, plaintiffs maintain that the litigation has shifted, and there are now a rapidly growing number of claims being pursued involving very similar allegations.
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