The court overseeing the federal litigation involving lawsuits alleging severe infections and other complications from the 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket has ordered 2 bellwether trials to be prepared, the first of which is scheduled to begin in April 2018.
The 2 lawsuits were filed on behalf of knee replacement patients alleging they suffered deep joint infections after undergoing surgery with a Bair Hugger surgical warming system, according to an Order (PDF) issued last week by the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
The tentative schedule for the upcoming litigation is as follows:
- Discovery began on September 26, 2017;
- Discovery to be completed by December 8, 2017;
- Initial expert reports and disclosures shall be exchanged by November 24, 2017;
- Rebuttal expert reports and disclosures shall be exchanged by December 15, 2017;
- Depositions of expert witnesses completed by January 30, 2018, and
- Dispositive motions shall be filed by February 6, 2018.
Bair Hugger lawsuits allege that 3M knew or should have known about the increased risk of joint infections associated with use of the Bair Hugger Warming Blanket, yet failed to redesign the product or issue a warning about its potential health risks.
The lawsuits being prepared for bellwether trials are: Skaar, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., 16-cv-2969 and Gareis v. 3M Co., et al., 16-cv-4187.