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Bard PowerPort Lawsuit - Defective Product Compensation Lawyers

The Bard PowerPort lawsuits claim the implantable catheter devices are defective, creating possible infections and catheter failures that can lead to thrombosis, stroke, and death.

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Bard PowerPort Product Liability Lawsuits

Bard PowerPort

Bard PowerPort

The PowerPort lawsuits claim that individuals have suffered injuries, and even death, when PowerPort implantable vascular devices have failed. The purpose of these devices is to help administer intravenous medications, fluids, and nutrients into a patient’s bloodstream.

These medical devices are susceptible to catheter fractures, bacterial colonization, and other malfunctions, all of which can result in serious injuries.

Defendants in these lawsuits include the following corporations involved in the design and sale of PowerPort implants:

  1. Bard Access Systems, Inc.
  2. Becton, Dickinson and Company
  3. C.R. Bard

According to the lawsuits, these businesses:

  1. Misrepresented the safety of the port devices
  2. Negligently designed, marketed, distributed, and sold the products
  3. Knew or should have known the PowerPort devices were not safe
 
 

News Updates for Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

October 2023

As of October 16, 2023, the JPML reports the total number of cases in the Bard PowerPort MDL is 62. October also saw the request for a parallel class action multi-county litigation (MCL). More than 500 lawsuits against the implanted device manufacturer filed in New Jersey courts would be consolidated in a similar manner in which cases from multiple district courts have been consolidated in MDL 3081.

September 2023

As of September 16, 2023, 50 cases have been transferred to Arizona district court as part of MDL 3081. Applications for Plaintiffs’ lead counsel were due to be filed by September 11, 2023, per Judge Campbell’s Order Regarding Initial Case Management Conference, scheduled for September 18, 2023. Leadership Counsel appointments were announced in CMO No. 1, filed on September 19, 2023.

August 2023

The JPML announced its decision to consolidate all Bard PowerPort claims filed at the federal level in a multidistrict litigation (MDL 3081 IN RE: Bard Implanted Port Catheter Products Liability Litigation). All cases will be transferred to the District Court of Arizona under Sr. District Judge David G. Campbell. The MDL will serve to streamline the judicial process by enabling all cases to be unified for the purposes of discovery and pretrial matters.

June 2023

A motion was filed with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all lawsuits against Bard Access Systems for their defective medical device. Currently, ten such claims are pending in various federal courts, with the expectation for many more in the next 12 months. Lawsuits allege the ports cause fractures, which can cause complications like infections and blood clots.

 
 

Design Issues with the PowerPorts

The PowerPort catheter uses barium sulfate to make the catheter visible on X-rays. This radiographic contrast agent can damage the catheter, resulting in leaks. Although manufacturers mix the substance into the silicon or polyurethane of the catheter, the barium sulfate particles fail to completely integrate into the catheter polymer, meaning they are not attached.

As the flexible catheter stretches and bends with a patient’s movement, the surface of the catheter experiences mechanical stress. Quickly, the barium sulfate particles begin to release.

The leaking barium sulfate particles cause cracks, notches, and holes in the surface of the catheter. This results in the following types of issues:

  1. Fractures of the catheter cause it to leak or break.
  2. Bacteria grows in the fractured catheter surface causing life-threatening injuries.
  3. Blood-clotting agents called fibrin collect on the fractured catheter, causing a blood clot.

Patients who were implanted with these medical devices and experienced these adverse outcomes should consider calling an attorney who can investigate their cases.

 
 

Life Threatening Injuries Related to PowerPorts

According to adverse event reports the manufacturers received shortly after introducing these devices into the market, PowerPort complications caused several types of injuries, including:

  1. Hemorrhage
  2. Cardiac/pericardial tamponade
  3. Cardiac arrhythmia
  4. Infection
  5. Sepsis
  6. Thromboembolism
  7. Death
 
 

Bard PowerPort Device Lawsuit Settlements

Potential compensation from a PowerPort lawsuit settlement or verdict depends on the extent of your injury. Recoverable damages could include:

  1. Costs of past and future medical treatment
  2. Lost past and future wages
  3. Diminished future potential income
  4. Diminished enjoyment of life
  5. Past and future physical and mental pain and suffering
  6. Loss of a loved one
 
 

What are the Bard PowerPorts Utilized for?

The Bard access systems are implanted port products that are also commonly referred to as Injection Ports, Port-a-Catheters, and Port-a-Caths. These devices consist of an injection reservoir that is implanted under the patient’s skin. An attached catheter acts as a channel for intravenous therapies that have been injected into the reservoir.

With the implanted access system, there is no need to repeatedly access a patient’s peripheral vein.

Cancer patients and those with severe autoimmune disorders commonly receive chemotherapy treatment through these implanted ports.

 
 

What Types of Problems Can Blood Clots Cause?

According to Medline Plus, blood clots can form in and travel to blood vessels throughout vital areas and organs of the body, including the lungs, limbs, heart, brain, and kidneys. Once there, the clots can cause serious injuries, including:

  1. Deep vein thrombosis (leg or pelvis)
  2. Pulmonary embolism (lungs)
  3. Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (brain)

When blood clots travel to other parts of the body, they can cause other health problems, such as:

  1. Heart attack
  2. Ischemic stroke
  3. Kidney failure
  4. Kidney problems
  5. Pregnancy complications
 
 

Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Addresses the PowerPort Litigation

PowerPort implants are being utilized throughout the country on a daily basis, and often lead to complications, which means there could be tens of thousands of potential lawsuits involving injured patients.

In May 2023, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) was petitioned to consolidate all the PowerPort lawsuits against the manufacturers before one federal court.

By creating a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), the lawsuits would be combined for the purpose of gathering evidence and addressing pretrial issues, resulting in more consistent rulings and a smoother legal process.

 
 

Research and Studies About Implanted Port Devices

Outcomes following port-a-catheter placement in the Medicare population -- Khalid, et al., 3 Surgery Open Science 39 (2021)

This study involved a pool of 93,756 patients who received a port implant. Researchers found that within five years of having the device implanted there was a greater than 49% complication rate. Complications included arrhythmogenic and thromboembolic complications, infection, and mechanical complications, such as fracture of the catheter.

Mechanic and surface properties of central-venous port catheters after removal: A comparison of polyurethane and silicon rubber materials -- Braun, et al 2016, J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, . 2016 Dec; 64:281-91

Researchers compared central venous port devices made of thermoplastic polyurethane and silicone rubber. According to the results, catheters using both materials showed small notches, which can act as breaking points for the devices. These notches connect to the loss of barium sulfate particles due to mechanical stress. According to the authors, materials with low mechanical properties, like silicone rubber, may cause “complete mechanical failure” of the medical device.

The role of polymer surface degradation and barium sulphate release in the pathogenesis of catheter-related infection -- Verbeke, et al, Nephrol Dial Transplant, 2010 Apr;25(4):1207-13

This randomized control trial tested the susceptibility to infection and thrombosis of intravascular catheters. Degraded catheters displayed prominent bacterial growth. Researchers concluded that catheters that experienced short-term exposure to the bloodstream released BaSO(4), barium sulfate, causing irregularities in the catheters’ surfaces, making them vulnerable to bacterial colonization.

Roughness and thrombogenicity of the outer surfaces of intravascular catheters -- Hecker JF, Scandrett LA. , Biomed Mater Res. 1985 Apr;19(4):381-95. doi: 10.1002/jbm.820190404. PMID: 4055822

In this comparative study, researchers tested 37 types of catheters made from polyurethane, silicone rubber, polyethylene, and polyvinylchloride for thrombogenesis in the sheep’s cephalic veins. According to Scanning electron microscopy, roughness was often linked to the presence of radiopaque particles that were used to make images clear in X-rays. Rougher-textured plastic catheters were typically more thrombogenic than smoother-surfaced catheters.

 
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