3M Bear Hugger Lawsuits
Patients across the country are now pursuing lawsuits against 3M Company and its subsidiary, Arizant Healthcare, Inc. asserting that the device allowed contaminants to enter the surgery site and, as a result, caused patients to develop severe infections. Plaintiffs further allege that 3M Company and Arizant Healthcare have known the risks and intentionally concealed the dangers associated with the Bair Hugger device.
The lawsuits site several medical publications that expose the potential dangers associated with forced-air warming devices, including a 2013 article in The Bone & Joint Journal which highlights specific issues with the 3M Bair Hugger device, including that the heat from forced-air warming blankets can increase the temperature and concentration of airborne particles over the surgical site.
3M Bear Hugger MDL
On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized Bair Hugger lawsuits in the District of Minnesota, MDL 15-2666, under U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen.
As of January 2017 more than 1,100 lawsuits have been filed in the MDL.