More Than 260 Bard PowerPort Lawsuits Filed Over Complications From Port Catheter Devices: Status Report

Lawyers for Bard PowerPort plaintiffs and the manufacturers indicate they are working cooperatively to move through the discovery process and to meet a deadline in 2025 to select claims for early bellwether trials.

As the parties involved in Bard PowerPort lawsuits prepare to meet later this month to discuss the state of the litigation, complaints continue to be filed in courts nationwide alleging that the catheter port implants are defectively designed and prone to fail or cause devastating infections.

The Bard PowerPort is a totally implantable vascular access device (TIVAD), which has been used by some doctors to deliver chemotherapy and other medications directly into the blood vessel. The implant involves an injection port site, where a needle is inserted, as well as a polyurethane catheter tube that delivers the fluid to the body.

While the port catheter has been marketed as safe and effective by C.R. Bard and it’s Becton Dickinson parent company, Bard PowerPort lawsuits allege that the manufacturers knew or should have known that the Bard PowerPort catheter material is prone to degrade over time, allowing bacteria to develop or small pieces to break off. Plaintiffs allege this increase the risk for infections, blood clots and other complications.

Bard Port Catheter Lawsuit

Did you suffer problems from a Bard Powerport?

Serious and life-threatening injuries have been linked to problems with Bard PowerPort. Lawsuits are now being pursued by individuals who suffered injuries from the implantable port catheter fracturing or migrating.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

Given nearly identical allegations raised in complaints filed throughout the federal court system over the first half of last year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to centralize all Bard port lawsuits in August 2023, transferring the claims to U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell, in the District of Arizona, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings as part of a federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

To help manage the claims and gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation, Judge Campbell has established a bellwether trial process, where a group of 24 initial Bard PowerPort lawsuits will go through discovery and be prepared for a series of early trial dates.

The parties have been directed to submit the list of bellwether cases by July 1, 2024, selecting from any lawsuits filed by April 1, 2024, and they are scheduled to meet with Judge Campbell on May 10, to discuss the status of discovery and the exchange of plaintiff fact sheets that will influence the cases selected.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Filings

In a joint Bard PowerPort lawsuit status report (PDF) submitted on May 7, lawyers indicate that there are now at least 223 complaints pending in the MDL, with another 38 claims filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey. However, defendants anticipate filing a motion to transfer 29 of those lawsuits to the federal court system, since they were filed by individuals who do not reside in New Jersey. Therefore, more than 250 claims may be eligible for the bellwether process.

The report indicates the parties continue to move forward amicably with discovery, working together “with a high degree of transparency” and resolving claims of deficiencies in certain documents exchanged. The report notes that there was an influx of Bard PowerPort lawsuits filed in advance of the April 1 cutoff date for claims to be considered for potential bellwether trials, and the parties have agreed that another case management conference should be held on May 24, to update the court on the production of records and continuing conferrals between the parties.

May 2024 Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update

After the bellwether cases are selected, the parties will conduct further case-specific discovery, including conducting depositions and further work up for trial. Those claims will later being reduced down to six Bard PowerPort bellwether trial cases, which will be used to help to gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

Following discovery, the parties will attempt to agree on the final six bellwether claims by March 10, 2025, and it is widely expected that the first trials may begin by late 2025 or early 2026.

While the outcomes of these early bellwether trials will not have any binding impact on other claims pending in the MDL, including claims filed after the April 1 deadline, they will likely have a major impact on Bard Power Port settlement negotiations and any attempt to resolve large numbers of claims.

Find Out If You Qualify for Port Catheter Compensation


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