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Stӧckert 3T Heater-Cooler Lawsuits May Be Consolidated into MDL

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is deciding whether to consolidate 42 lawsuits alleging severe infections from Stӧckert 3T Heater Cooler Machines for pretrial handling.

Plaintiffs in the cases allege that the heater cooler infected heart surgery patients with a deadly strain of bacteria known as Mycobacterium Chimaera, or M. chimaera.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you suffered an infection or other injury after undergoing surgery in which a heater-cooler device was used, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.

What’s the Problem?

February 1, 2018 – LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH), the German company that manufactures the Stӧckert 3T, has argued in favor of a multidistrict litigation rather than fight 42 separate lawsuits which more or less all argue the same thing.

Trial dates have already been set for several of the heater-cooler lawsuits, and some plaintiffs have made clear they don’t have time to waste wading through the red tape of a drawn out litigation process. Sadly, M. Chimaera has a nearly 50% fatality rate, and there is concern by some that establishing an MDL will slow down their payouts.

In October 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned about an increased risk of bacterial infection associated with use of Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler devices. At least 28 infections with nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) — a rare bacterium similar to M. Chimaera that has also been linked to heater-coolers — were diagnosed in patients undergoing open-heart surgery in U.S. hospitals with the devices.

The results of a study presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) found that contamination of Stӧckert 3T heater-cooler machines was even more widespread than previously believed, with more than 30% testing positive for harmful bacteria.

“The extent of contamination from such a rare organism in multiple units from all over the country was surprising,” said John Rihs, VP of Laboratory Services at Special Pathogens Laboratory. “These results highlight the importance of monitoring the decontamination and maintenance schedules of these devices to minimize the risk of patient harm.”

It could still take 6 to 8 weeks before the JPML makes its decision on whether or not to consolidate the 42 Stockert 3T personal injury lawsuits into a federal MDL.

Do I Have a Heater-Cooler Lawsuit?

The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in heater-cooler lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered an infection after surgery with a heater-cooler device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

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