Bair Hugger MDL Court Orders 2 Bellwether Trials

Two knee replacement lawsuits in the Bair Hugger MDL are being prepared for bellwether trials, which are scheduled to begin in April 2018.

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The federal court overseeing the Bair Hugger Multidistrict Litigation (MDL No. 2666) in Minnesota have ordered two knee replacement infection lawsuits to be prepared for bellwether trials, which are scheduled to begin early next year.


What’s the Problem?

November 2, 2017 – The two cases were filed by plaintiffs who allegedly suffered deep joint infections after undergoing total knee replacement surgery with the Bair Hugger surgical warming system. An Order (PDF) issued by the MDL court on Oct. 20 indicated that both cases will be prepared for bellwether trials, which are to begin in April 2018.

Case specific discovery for the 2 lawsuits began on Sept. 26 and is expected to be completed by Dec. 8, according to the Order. Initial expert reports and disclosures are expected to be exchanged before the Thanksgiving break, with all rebuttals completed by December 15.

All federal Bair Hugger lawsuits were consolidated into MDL No. 2666 in December 2015. The U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, in January randomly selected 150 cases which were nominated because all plaintiffs underwent either knee or hip replacement surgeries. A total of 31 federal cases were selected by both parties, and one of the cases was chosen by both sides.

The Order specifies that both lawsuits are to be prepared for trial by April 30, 2018, with several other complaints following suit. Verdicts in bellwether trials are used to gauge how juries might rule in other similar cases.

The lawsuits are: Skaar, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., 16-cv-2969 and Gareis v. 3M Co., et al., 16-cv-4187.


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