Bard Access Systems, Inc. manufactures and sells the Bard Power Port, an implantable catheter. The medical device allows doctors to inject medications and fluids into your bloodstream. However, manufacturing and design flaws make the device prone to fracturing and migration, causing life-threatening injuries and complications. You could qualify for compensation if you or a loved one suffered health conditions or injuries after using the device. Many plaintiffs throughout the U.S. have filed lawsuits against the defendant, enough to create multidistrict litigation to streamline the legal process. Consumer Alert Now is currently taking cases and can help you hold the manufacturer accountable and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. We can also collect evidence and find other plaintiffs with similar experiences to build a strong case that protects your rights.
Defining Bard Power Port
Bard Power Port is a variety of catheters that Bard Access Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, markets, and sells. It was first introduced to the market in 2000, following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
The catheter has two major parts:
- A polyurethane catheter and
- An injection port.
The injection port has a septum (raised center) where physicians insert the needle to deliver medication. Surgically inserted beneath the skin and connected to a large central vein, the Bard Power Part stays implanted within you. It permits you, the patient, to donate blood or receive medical fluid without the doctor using needles to poke you every time. The Power Port is ideal for patients requiring prolonged and repeated vascular system access for IV medication and fluid administration.
It delivers intravenous (IV) fluids, parenteral nutrition solutions, and blood products directly into your bloodstream. Doctors can also use it for chemotherapy.
Medical practitioners quickly adopted these affordable and convenient devices to boost continued patient care. Nevertheless, the doctors and patients did not know this medical device could cause fatal effects. According to a 2016 British Medical Journal (BMJ) analysis, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind cancer and heart disease. And the latest breakout of Bard Power Port suits adds to this regrettable trend.
The medical device has a plastic and titanium housing and uses a polyurethane material (ChronoFlex AL). The material is the bone of contention in the lawsuits. Most plaintiffs allege inherent flaws in the catheter’s manufacturing and design make the medical device less durable and weaker.
The material consists of barium sulfate and polyurethane. Over time, barium sulfate particles dissolve from the device’s surface, leading to microfractures, among other structural changes that affect the catheter’s mechanical properties.
Plaintiffs also claim that the company used excessive sulfate particles, incorrectly mixing and forming air pockets throughout the medical device. These defects lead to an uneven catheter surface with cracks, pits, and fissures (a location for accumulating and generating fungi or microbes, significantly increasing the likelihood of developing sepsis and infections).
Product Liability in the Lawsuit
Defective or hazardous products cause thousands of injuries and deaths annually. Product liability laws hold a seller or manufacturer accountable for placing a defective product in consumers’ hands.
All products should meet customer expectations and safety requirements, and a defect that endangers the customers or compromises product quality breaches this duty. The law makes it easier for plaintiffs to claim and receive compensation.
Typically, design defect claims are complicated, mainly regarding establishing responsibility. Nevertheless, they can leave a substantial dent in the defendant’s finances and brand because they should issue a product recall. Probably, that is why Bard Access Systems, Inc. attempted to settle or bury the matter before it spread.
Plaintiffs allege that the defendant breached the duty of care by:
- Knowing of the issues for years but failing to take corrective measures.
- Failure to reveal the risk to medical practitioners.
- Failing to conduct enough post-marketing surveillance to monitor the issues.
- Not offering a safer alternative design.
- Failing to initiate a timely product recall.
Injuries and Complications Related to the Defective Medical Device
The design and manufacturing issues with the Bard Power Port make the implant more vulnerable to fracturing once implanted. The fracturing of the implant can cause malfunctions like vascular damage and migration, resulting in severe injuries like:
- Infections — While you could think an infection is not a big deal, it can be catastrophic if you are recovering from a severe disease. You can experience signs and symptoms like chills, swelling, pus, changes in your urine odor or color, and inflammation.
- Bard Power Port fracture injuries — Tiny pieces of the polyurethane tube can start chipping and entering the bloodstream. It can result in severe pain and injuries like organ damage, perforated tissues, cardiac tamponade, bleeding, cardiac arrhythmia, and thromboembolism. These injuries are life-threatening and require immediate medical care.
- Vascular damage — The catheter tube can tear through your tissues and blood vessels, resulting in infections in the neighboring area where the physician inserted the medical device. Moreover, it can lead to necrosis (death of tissues), which is irreversible.
- Deep vein thrombosis — Blood clots, or DVT, have unpredictable effects since they do not initially have side effects. It can be fatal if a clot travels to any major organ.
- Catheter migration injuries — If the medical device has shifted from its intended position, patients suffer from injuries like infection, failure to deliver medication, organ damage, and restricted blood flow. Additionally, it can cause cardiac issues in severe cases.
- Thromboembolism — A blood clot that blocks blood flow in your veins.
- Cardiac perforation — Puncturing or tearing of the heart.
- Cardiac tamponade — Fluid build-up around your heart, an emergency that makes it challenging to pump blood.
- Hematomas — Severe bruising due to the pooling of blood beneath your skin.
- Myocardial infarction symptoms — Heart attack signs and symptoms like dizziness, breathing challenges, and chest pain.
- Kidney problems.
The Defendant Knew or Should Have Known of the Challenges with the Defective Power Port
Before receiving compensation, you must prove the defendant’s failure to warn. Product manufacturers should warn consumers of dangers and defects related to foreseeable uses of their product(s). They should communicate the warnings and effectively communicate the involved risks.
Failing to Warn Patients and Healthcare Facilities
Immediately after introducing the medical device, the manufacturer started receiving many adverse event reports (AERs) from medical practitioners claiming that the device was fracturing after implantation. Additionally, Bard received AERs reporting that the implants had perforated the internal vasculature.
In March 2023, the Food and Drug Administration issued a class 2 recall for various medical device models. The recall indicated issues like device displacement, thrombosis, Power Port breakage, and bloodstream infections. The FDA recommended doctors return the affected devices.
In September 2019, the Health Sciences Authority issued a recall notification. In a letter, Bard Access Systems, Inc. highlighted that the rationale for the recall was the wrong barb tip for the catheter that would dislodge from the tunneler. The defendant argued in that statement that the defect could not cause severe injuries. The recall failed to admit errors with the ChronoFlex catheter tubing.
Please note that there is no active recall for the Bard Power Port.
The Defendant Doubled Down
With every lawsuit, the complaints are increasingly alarming. A key allegation focuses on the defendant’s refusal to alter the device design to make it safer. Notwithstanding numerous complaints about the Power Port’s risks, plaintiffs accused the defendant of prioritizing profits over patients' safety and pushing a defective product into the market.
Plaintiffs argue that the manufacturer knew of the medical device’s defects after use but failed to rectify them. Instead, the company continued to aggressively and actively market the Bard Power Port as a safe medical device.
The defendant also launched another product line and marketed it as an “enhanced” version. However, critics highlighted similarities to the defective Power Port and argued that the damage control attempts were opportunistic and insincere.
Bard Access Systems, Inc. Internal Documents
Internal documents have reportedly emerged proving communication within the company about Power Port risks before they were publicly known. The paperwork could prove the manufacturer’s intentional disregard for the harm it caused.
If the degree of the deceit is as profound as the lawsuits suggest, punitive damages can result in higher compensation.
Defective Power Port Lawsuit Status
Law firms, including Consumer Alert Now, are accepting Bard Power Port claims, and we expect more plaintiffs to file.
You should file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations (SOL). SOL is the period during which you should file a lawsuit. Otherwise, the court will dismiss your case. Every state has its SOL, so it is wise to consult a skilled attorney early.
You are eligible to file a lawsuit if you meet the criteria below:
- You have received a Bard Power Port implant.
- Your medical history proves the health complications and injuries you faced after the medical device implant.
- You filed the lawsuit within the statute of limitations (SOL).
Here are the latest lawsuit updates:
- In March 2020, the FDA posted a recall notice for various Bard Power Port models because the medical devices had the wrong tunneler tips.
- In April 2023, lawsuits against the defendant claimed that the access system caused several injuries due to fracturing and cracking. Patients also experienced a greater risk of infection, internal damage, and blood clots.
- On June 12th, 2023, the plaintiffs brought a motion requesting the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all claims into a class action multidistrict litigation. They claimed that while the number of Power Port claims increased monthly, the defendant still attempted to resist the push.
- By August 2013, alleged victims had brought at least fifty lawsuits. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issues a transfer order to centralize the claims. These proceedings will go before United States District Court Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona.
Understanding Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
The lawyers representing clients in civil lawsuits who have experienced similar harm caused by the same defective product or company negligence ask the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to create an MDL to merge the lawsuits. In other words, federal courts use MDL to consolidate civil cases that involve similar issues from different states and move them to a single local court.
Once accomplished, one judge will oversee the litigation through pretrial hearings and discovery. If no dismissal occurs during this court process or through settlement, the lawsuits revert to the initial court for a full trial.
Please note that every plaintiff retains their lawyer regardless of the case consolidation.
The goal of consolidating these civil lawsuits is to compile the evidence collected for one suit and streamline the process. Other benefits of an MDL include the following:
- Pooling resources to build a stronger case against the defendant.
- Consistency in rulings — When one judge manages the consolidated cases, all interested parties receive equal judicial treatment and the right to due process.
- Convenience for plaintiffs and witnesses — Centralizing cases in a single location ensures easier participation for plaintiffs, witnesses, and their lawyers since it reduces the need for frequent travel and rescheduling plans.
- It is cost-effective — An MDL lowers the financial burden on plaintiffs by eliminating duplication of witness statements and discovery requests.
- Coordination of effective discovery — The MDL judge can pick a lead counsel to manage discovery, guaranteeing access to relevant information for the involved parties and leading to a smooth process of the case proceedings.
- Quicker case resolution — An MDL expedites the resolution of complex civil cases by centralizing the pre-trial court proceedings, allowing the involved parties to settle faster.
What to Do After Suffering from Power Port Complications and Injuries
You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms or pain that you believe could be due to Bard Power Port implantation. Your doctor will address the matter. Ensure you abide by their instructions to mitigate future injuries and complications and increase your chances of receiving higher compensation.
Next, seek skilled and aggressive legal representation. The legal team at Consumer Alert Now understands what you are going through and can assist you in navigating the complicated legal process. We can also:
- Analyze your case to determine whether you are eligible to take legal action against the defendant.
- Collect proof to build a robust case.
- File the lawsuit on time and correctly.
- Advise you on your rights.
Gathering Evidence Against the Defendant
When seeking compensation, your attorney will collect records of all your related expenses and losses to arrive at a reasonable settlement value for the harm suffered.
Your attorney must gather evidence to prove the emotional, financial, and physical damages to yourself and your family. These pieces of evidence can include the following:
- Medical expenses associated with your injury, including receipts and a prescription from your doctor.
- Receipts for post-recovery care and comfort essentials.
- Documents to prove you were away from work.
- Proof of lost income and lost earning capacity.
- A video, journal, or similar evidence of impairment resulting from the inflicted injury.
- Expert witness testimonies addressing prognosis and the future need for care (It can be medical practitioners).
- Evidence to demonstrate the company knew their product was substandard or acted negligently.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive in a Lawsuit?
Since Bard Power Port claims are in their initial stages, it is too early to tell what settlement amount you can receive. So far, there are no scheduled trials or settlements.
However, this is not the first time Bard Access Systems, Inc. has faced legal trouble. The manufacturer settled claims against defective pelvic mesh products for $21 million in 2014. Six (6) years later, the company paid a sixty-million-dollar compensation for marketing the pelvic mesh products.
What Happens After the Judge Settles the Lawsuits?
After the judge analyzes the defendant’s settlement offer and determines it is satisfactory and fair, the compensation amount is distributed among the plaintiffs.
Since lawyers work on a contingency basis, they will receive a percentage of the attorney fees, among other related costs. The court will ensure the attorneys’ fees are reasonable to ensure fairness.
Next, the remaining amount in the lawsuit will be divided among the victims. Class action settlements are not evenly divided among the alleged victims. Generally, the lead plaintiff receives the most compensation.
A lead plaintiff files the lawsuit on behalf of the class members and has more responsibilities throughout the process. Their name will be attached to the class action lawsuit and will publicly represent the interests of all members.
Although class action lawsuits often settle for huge sums of money, your payment will mainly depend on the following factors:
- The number of lead plaintiffs.
- The number of alleged victims.
Plaintiffs receive a structured settlement or lump-sum payment. However, you could receive one payment if your payout is smaller. Some of the reasons you might receive a smaller payout are as follows:
- The severity of your injuries and complications — One benefit of joining a class action lawsuit is that it allows you to seek compensation for a minor complication or injury that would not qualify you to file a claim. In this case, the defendant will still be liable for their negligent act, but your payout will be small.
- Overall litigation costs — Filing a class action lawsuit can be costly, especially when dealing with a defendant willing to invest vast sums of money in their defense. Since many law firms work on a contingency basis, the attorneys bear all costs until the lawsuit is closed.
- Legal roadblocks —Challenges with the case that cannot be settled can affect the overall settlement amount. Additionally, if the manufacturer has an airtight case, the class action lawyers must concede to avoid losing the case.
Before approving the settlement amount, the judge must ensure all plaintiffs are satisfied and treated fairly. If you object to the settlement offer, you should notify the court.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about class action lawsuits, this section will answer some commonly asked questions.
How Does a Mass Tort Differ from a Class Action Lawsuit?
In a mass tort suit, plaintiffs bring the claims individually, and courts settle on a case-by-case basis. On the other hand, in a class action suit, one class member represents the lawsuits of a large group of plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries and complications inflicted by a common defendant.
How Long Does Class Action Lawsuits Take?
Class action lawsuits can take a long time to settle because the court must certify the lead plaintiff. The process begins with the lead plaintiff bringing a complaint.
An attorney and the lead plaintiff will notify the other victims once the court certifies the lawsuit via mail. The process can be seamless and timely when dealing with a high-profile defendant. However, it can take time for other plaintiffs to submit their responses.
Next, the defendant and plaintiffs will start preparing for trial. The involved parties will have attorneys who will dedicate quality time to collecting and analyzing evidence and finding witnesses.
Is the Settlement Taxable?
Payouts from a class action lawsuit are like other lawsuit settlements. They are not taxable, provided you did not deduct related medical expenses on your tax returns.
How Much Does It Cost to Join a Class Action?
It is free to join.
However, if your damages are more significant than those of other victims in the class action lawsuit, you can consider filing your claim.
Once the lawsuit is closed, you cannot pursue further legal action for the same injury if you are a class member. It can limit the compensation you receive.
Find Competent and Compassionate Legal Representation Near Me
You are eligible for compensation if you have suffered injuries due to the defective Bard Power Port. However, claims involving defective medical devices can be challenging to file due to the casework and evidence required to persuade the court of negligence. Also, going against an established firm means fighting against skilled corporate attorneys. Consumer Alert Now is dedicated to fighting for full compensation and justice for victims and their families throughout the U.S. Defendants and their lawyers do not intimidate us. We can go above and beyond to offer excellent legal assistance.
Call us at 800-511-0747 to book your free, confidential initial case review. Our attorneys are ready to answer your questions and protect you and your rights.