Bard PowerPort™ Lawsuit

Bard PowerPorts are catheter implants that deliver medicine straight into the bloodstream. The FDA has nearly 3,000 reports of PowerPorts breaking, moving and leaking. Patients say faulty PowerPorts also caused infections, clots and bleeding. 65+ PowerPort lawsuits are already pending in federal court. If you were injured by this device, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Successful cases can result in compensation.

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Why Are People Filing Bard PowerPort™ Lawsuits?

Patients say Bard PowerPort implants caused serious harm. People injured by these ports have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, C.R. Bard Inc. (Bard). The filings claim PowerPort design flaws caused infections and device breakage. Some filings also attribute blood clots and other complications to the faulty implants.

Doctors use port catheter devices to reduce wear and tear on a person's veins. This is important for patients who need repeat intravenous (IV) treatments like chemotherapy.

Patients with Bard port devices don't need their IVs reinserted for every round of treatment. Ideally, this would make the process easier on patients. But some patients say the device did not work as intended.

Instead, it has been linked to serious injuries and complications. Some Bard port problems involve the device itself. These include implant breakage, fractures and movement. Other complications include infection, blood clots and severe, persistent pain.

Most lawsuits so far are focused on catheter failures caused by design flaws. Some lawsuits also claim the medical device manufacturer should have known and warned people of these risks.

How Did Bard Conceal PowerPort Problems for So Long?

Some lawsuits allege Bard hid complications using a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. The FDA has a premarket notification process called a 510(k). A company notifies the FDA of the intent to market a device. The agency must judge the device to be "substantially similar" to others on the market. After an investigation, the FDA found the Bard PowerPort was like others and cleared it.

Once a device is cleared, manufacturers can request that it be included in the Alternative Summary Reporting (ASR) program. This would allow Bard to privately report device failures to the FDA. The ASR program kept the negative reports from becoming public for many years.

The Bard PowerPort has been used for more than 15 years. But the device problems only came to light in the last 5 years. Some lawsuits allege Bard failed to warn people of the device's possible complications.

Catheter Fractures From Bard PowerPorts

Some patients have experienced catheter fractures and other similar PowerPort complications. Catheter fractures, while uncommon, can be dangerous. They occur when the flexible plastic tube inserted into a vein cracks or breaks. It can cause severe injuries, ranging from medication leakage to broken catheter pieces in the vein.

Some lawsuits note that the Chronoflex AL used in the PowerPorts may be part of the problem. Chronoflex is a mixture of polyurethane and barium sulfate used that forms the catheter. These lawsuits allege the Chronoflex is defective and leads to failure.

If pieces of a broken or fractured catheter are in the vein, it can lead to further issues. Device fragments may cause a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung). Other potential issues include infections, bleeding and clots that reduce blood flow (thrombosis).

To resolve this complication, doctors may take various approaches. The severity of the fracture or break is one factor that influences next steps. If pieces of the catheter have been carried farther into the blood vessels, surgery may be necessary. But when possible, doctors commonly choose minimally invasive techniques as a first-line option.

The cost for treating catheter fractures also varies. It depends on which method doctors use to address the complication. Receiving financial compensation from lawsuits may help cover these costs.

Catheter Migration From Bard PowerPorts

Catheter migration is a complex issue that has occurred with some Bard PowerPorts. Catheters can become dislodged from actions like coughing or vomiting. Migration is associated with other resulting complications.

Migration complications depend on various factors, like which vein the catheter is in. But patients may experience infection, catheter malfunction, perforation, hemorrhage, thrombosis, neurological complications and ear, neck or shoulder pain.

For most Port-a-Caths, migration is uncommon but is still a risk. But lawsuits claim they occurred more often than usual with Bard PowerPorts. Victims believe the device has a faulty design that led to the increased risk of migration. They were also not told this risk was greater than with other catheters.

Catheter Infections From Bard PowerPorts

Catheter infections are another complication linked to Bard PowerPort implantable ports. Infections can develop for various reasons, like polyurethane catheter fractures or migrations. Infections can range in severity, progressing to sepsis or septic shock in some cases.

Sepsis is a serious medical condition. It happens when a person's immune system reacts too strongly to infection. The aggressive response can become life-threatening.

Septic shock is the last stage of sepsis. This stage occurs when an infection causes low blood pressure and damage to organs.

Infection is a risk with all catheter implants. But patients who have filed lawsuits say Bard PowerPorts are faulty and more likely to cause severe infections. Patients say Bard did not disclose the increased risk of infection.

For some patients, the infections developed later than typically expected. They believe the port's faulty design allowed bacteria to develop months after healthcare providers implanted the device.

Research shows that infections from catheters, like PowerPorts, can cause further complications. For example, doctors often need to focus on the catheter infection first. This may delay other vital treatments for patients' primary diagnoses, such as cancer.

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Who Can File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?

Anyone who believes they experienced Bard PowerPort problems may be able to file a lawsuit. If unsure, qualified attorneys can easily review patients' eligibility.

The following list of common complications related to Bard PowerPorts is not exhaustive. Patients who suffered a problem not listed can still speak with personal injury lawyers.

Common Qualifying Bard PowerPort Complications

  • Break
  • Broken pieces embedded in artery/organ
  • Broken pieces passed through the heart
  • Broken pieces perforated a vein or organ
  • Cardiac/pericardial tamponade
  • Cardiac puncture
  • Dislodgement or disconnection of the catheter from the port
  • Fracture
  • Fracture causing embolism
  • Hematoma
  • Hemorrhage
  • Laceration to blood vessels
  • Leakage at port site
  • Necrosis around the port
  • Severe and persistent pain around port/catheter
  • Arrhythmia*
  • Blood clots*
  • Infection*
  • Thromboembolic event*

*This complication appeared more than 90 days after implantation.

In lawsuits filed so far, some of these complications are more common than others. In general, these complications appeared within 60 days of implantation. But some appeared more than 90 days after the port was implanted. For example, infections that occurred more than 90 days after implantation are commonly cited in lawsuits.

Anyone who has suffered Bard catheter implant complications can contact a law firm for a case evaluation. They can discuss the details and determine the next steps to take.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

Some injured patients began filing Bard PowerPort catheter lawsuits in 2023. Litigation for the Bard Port-a-Cath is still in its beginning stages. Patients who may have experienced any complications from Bard PowerPorts can discuss potential litigation options with lawyers.

Examples of some initial Bard product liability lawsuits include:

  • A colon cancer patient filed a Bard Port-a-Cath lawsuit. She was receiving chemotherapy through the PowerPort catheter device, which fractured. Her lawsuit says she developed deep vein thrombosis as a result and needed major surgery.
  • A breast cancer patient filed a PowerPort lawsuit. She claims the PowerPort catheter's design led to a bloodstream infection and embolism. This resulted in multiple corrective surgeries and procedures.
  • Another breast cancer patient filed a lawsuit over a defective Bard PowerPort device. She alleges that her PowerPort catheter fractured and migrated while she was receiving chemotherapy. She had emergency surgery to remove catheter fragments from her heart.

Bard PowerPort Multidistrict Litigation

In June 2023, parties in the existing Bard lawsuits filed a motion for multidistrict litigation (MDL). The motion was granted, consolidating the cases into MDL #3081. As of December 2023, more than 65 cases had been added to the docket.

MDL consolidation involves initially transferring cases to federal courts. Then, a judicial panel groups similar cases together for various pretrial proceedings and activities. An individual court handles all initial case proceedings, before returning them to their original courts for the remaining litigation steps.

Multidistrict litigation and class action lawsuits differ. Class action lawsuits involve a group of people with similar claims. This group files one lawsuit, and the results, such as settlements, affect all participants. Unlike class action lawsuits, all MDL cases stay separate besides the initial pretrial activities. Plaintiffs in an MDL case tend to have different circumstances that make forming a group for a class action too difficult.

Bard PowerPort Settlements and Verdicts

Bard PowerPort catheter lawsuits are still in the early stages of litigation, so there are no settlements or verdicts yet. As these lawsuits progress, victims may receive compensation for faulty Bard Port-a-Caths.

Settlements and verdicts are two potential outcomes for lawsuit plaintiffs (victims). Settlements are an agreement reached by both parties outside of court. Specific compensation from settlements is not always available to the public. Juries or judges determine verdicts in court. These verdict amounts awarded to victims are typically public information.

In general, verdicts are awarded to compensate for legal damages. These may include:

Frequently Asked Questions About Bard PowerPort Lawsuits

What Is the Lawsuit for Port-a-Cath?

Personal injury lawsuits claim Bard's Port-a-Caths were faulty and led to life-threatening complications. Victims say these complications, like infections and catheter fractures, required major corrective care. Litigation for this product is still in its early stages.

Who Is Eligible for a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit?

Anyone affected by complications from a Bard catheter implant may be able to file a lawsuit. So far, common qualifying complications include infection, catheter fractures, embolism and blood clots. Patients who have suffered from the effects of defective Bard PowerPorts can speak with lawyers for a free consultation.

Have Bard PowerPorts Been Recalled?

Becton, Dickson and Company voluntarily recalled Bard PowerPorts in 2020. The FDA shows the recall ended in 2022. The recall was listed as a Class 2, which means the product may cause temporary or medically reversible complications. An earlier recall for another Bard PowerPort model happened in 2010.

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