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Lawsuit Claims Bard PowerPort ClearVue Failed, Resulting In Thromboembolism Injury and Increased Stroke Risks
According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, a Missouri woman suffered a thromboembolism after her Bard PowerPort ClearVue failed, resulting in the need for additional surgery to remove the implant used to receive chemotherapy treatments, leaving her with long-term injuries.
Dalila Harris filed the complaint (PDF) earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, pursuing damages from the manufacturers of the widely used port catheter, Bard Access Systems, Inc., C.R. Bard and their parent company, Becton, Dickinson and Company, as defendants.
The Bard PowerPort ClearVue is a vascular access device, which is implanted below the skin to provide a 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, Harris 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, Harris had a Bard PowerPort Clearvue implanted in her right subclavian vein in December 2017, to make it easier for doctors to administer chemotherapy treatments for her Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
However, in September 2018, Harris was hospitalized after experiencing a number of problems linked to the chemo port. An ultrasound found that the PowerPort Clearvue catheter tube had failed, causing a serious thrombus, or blood clot.
To combat the increased risk of stroke caused by the PowerPort failure, Harris was put on blood thinners for three years, and ultimately had the failed port catheter surgically removed in December 2021.
The lawsuit accuses Bard of knowing about the risk of problems with the catheter tube, but failing to properly warn patients or the medical community, in order to keep profits high at the expense of patient safety.
“Defendants knew and intentionally concealed the fact that the risk of catheter fracture increased with dwell time of the device,” the lawsuit states. “Rather than alter the design of the PowerPort to make it safer or adequately warn physicians of the dangers associated with the PowerPort, Defendants continued to actively and aggressively market the PowerPort as safe, despite their knowledge of numerous reports of thromboembolism and other serious injuries.”
August 2023 Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Update
Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all federal Bard PowerPort lawsuits consolidated in the District of Arizona under U.S. District Judge David Campbell, for coordinated pretrial procedures.
Each of the complaints raise similar allegations, involving various injuries that resulted from a failure of a Bard port catheter including migration of the device, infections, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, perforations and other damage caused by a Bard PowerPort fracture.
As part of the management of the port catheter lawsuits, it is expected that Judge Campbell will coordinate discovery into common issues that impact all of the claims, and select a small group of representative cases that will be prepared for early trial dates, to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if the manufacturer fails to negotiation Bard Port settlements following these MDL proceedings, each case may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial date in the future.
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