Bair Hugger Warming Blankets Lawsuit

bair hugger lawsuitA growing number of plaintiffs are pursuing Bair Hugger lawsuits after allegedly developing debilitating hip and knee replacement infections due to the widely-used forced air warming blanket. All of these plaintiffs claim that the 3M Bair Hugger allowed contaminants from the operating room to enter the surgical site during their implant procedure, resulting in dangerous post-operative infections, including MRSA and sepsis.

You could be eligible to file a similar forced air warming lawsuit if you or a loved one were diagnosed with a post-operative hip or knee replacement infection following implant surgery that involved the use of a Bair Hugger system. If your case is successful, you could be awarded damages for any medical treatments you required, including revision surgery to remove and replace your implant, as well as pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, and more.

Bair Hugger Litigation Update

  • March 2017:  An new report indicates 1,343 claims are now pending in the federal Bair Hugger litigation, representing an increase of 140 filings since February 15th, when the JPML reported 1,203 pending lawsuits. (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2666) Read More
  • January 2017: At least 1,105 cases are now pending in the federal Bair Hugger litigation. Court records indicate 166 new lawsuits were either filed in or transferred to the proceeding between December 15, 2016 and January 15, 2017. Read More
  • November 2016: A process for selecting bellwether trial cases has been established in the federal Bair Hugger litigation. The first such trial is to be convened on November 6, 2017. Read More
  • October 2016: The federal Bair Hugger litigation has grown to include more than 800 cases. The proceeding’s next Status Conference has been scheduled for November 17th. Read More
  • October 2016: The federal court overseeing the centralized Bair Hugger litigation has established new protocols governing service of Plaintiff Fact Sheets. Read More
  • September  2016: There are now 693 Bair Hugger lawsuits pending in the federal multidistrict litigation. In a single month, 147 cases were added to the proceeding currently underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. Read More
  • May 2016: The federal court overseeing the Bair Hugger multidistrict litigation has approved Master Long and Short Form Complaints. Going forward, all plaintiffs filing these cases directly in the District of Minnesota are to utilize the Short Form Complaint. Read More
  • April 2016: The federal Bair Hugger litigatio nissued three new Pretrial Orders on April 29th, including a Protective Order that sets forth procedures for handling confidential information disclosed in the course of discovery. The two additional Pretrial Orders allow direct filing of Bair Hugger lawsuits in the District of Minnesota, and the service of process via e-mail for Plaintiffs’ Summons and Complaints. Read More
  • April 2016: A court update shows that more than 200 Bair Hugger lawsuits were pending in the federal multidistrict litigation as of April 15th. The proceeding currently ranks among the fastest-growing multidistrict litigations in the country. Read More
  • April 2016: There are currently more than 160 cases pending in the federal Bair Hugger litigation. A Pretrial Order issued in the  District of Minnesota indicates that  the proceeding’s first bellwether trial could begin on November 6, 2017.  Verdicts in bellwether trials could provide insight into how other juries might decide similar Bair Hugger lawsuits.  Read More
  • The federal Bair Hugger litigation issued its first Pretrial Order on January 13th, which, among other things, stays discovery in all cases pending the litigation’s first status conference and further order from the court. At least 82 hip and knee replacement lawsuits have been filed thus far in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. Read More
  • On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized all federally-filed Bair Hugger cases in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. The Panel’s Initial Transfer Order sent 14 claims to the new multidistrict litigation, but noted that more than 50 others currently pending in U.S. courts are also eligible for transfer. Any forced air warmer lawsuits involving the Bair Hugger that are filed in federal courts in the future will likely be transferred there as well.

Bair Hugger Lawsuit Allegations

The 3M Bair Hugger is used during more than 80% of all hip and knee replacements to help regulate patients’ body temperature during surgery. The system consists of a flexible hose that is hooked up to a disposable blanket that is then positioned over the patient. The blanket delivers a constant stream of warm air, allowing the surgical team to ensure that the patient’s body temperature stays at an optimum level.

While it’s important that an ideal body temperature be maintained during surgery, forced air warming lawsuit plaintiffs s claim that use of the Bair Hugger disrupts the laminar air flow in operating rooms. This allows contaminated particles from the operating floor to be carried up in the warm area, entering the sterile filed around the surgical site. These contaminants may cause MRSA, sepsis and other deep joint infections that result in the need for additional surgery and permanent disability.

Bair Hugger lawsuits further claim that 3M and Arizant have been aware of the system’s infection risk since at least 2009, but continued to aggressively market the device as safe for use in both general and orthopedic surgeries. Among other things, plaintiffs assert that no “reasonable and competent physician” would have used the forced air warming blanket in orthopedic surgery had the companies not misrepresented their safety to the public, regulators and the medical community.

3M Releases Bair Hugger Research Compendium

The 3M Company has released a research compendium in an attempt to demonstrate the safety of the Bair Hugger surgical warming blanket. The company continues to deny allegations that the device increases the risk that hip and knee replacement patients will develop dangerous post-op joint infections. Read More

I’m Ready to File a Forced Air Warming Lawsuit. How Do I Start?

If you are interested in filing a 3M Bair Hugger lawsuit, it’s important to contact an experienced medical device attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected. Bernstein Liebhard LLP has been working to safeguard the rights of patients for more than 20 years, and our attorneys are available to evaluate your case for free. They will take the time to answer all of your questions, and can fully explain the process for filing a case against 3M and Arizant. To learn more, call our office today at (888) 994-5118 to schedule your free, no-obligation legal review.

  1. JPML (2015) “Initial Transfer Order”
  2. (n.d.). 3M Infection Prevention.
  3. Pioneer Press (2013) “Texas Patient Suing 3M for Bair Hugger Injury”
  4. Timothy Johnson v. 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare, Inc., Case 2:14-cv-02044, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas






Last Modified: March 26, 2017

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