The Bard PowerPort is a type of implantable catheter product that allows long-term access to major veins in the body. Studies have linked certain implantable catheter products with serious injuries, including thromboembolism, infection, hemorrhage, device migration, heart attack, stroke, and death.
In the U.S., several people who have suffered similar injuries after implantation with the Bard PowerPort system or other similar implantable catheter products by the Becton, Dickinson and Company group of companies filed lawsuits against the manufacturers in federal court, across several various districts. Some other individuals have filed similar lawsuits in New Jersey state court.
On August 8th, 2023, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved the consolidation of all similar Bard PowerPort lawsuits in federal court into multi-district litigation (“MDL”). A subgroup of plaintiffs in New Jersey are seeking the consolidation of all similar lawsuits filed in New Jersey state court into multi-county litigation (“MCL”).
Multi-district litigation vs multi-county litigation
In an MDL, similar or related lawsuits in federal court are transferred before one judge to help resolve the lawsuits more efficiently. All pretrial proceedings, including discovery, issues related to certification, and evidentiary and dispositive motions will be overseen by a single judge. The Court may also conduct bellwether trials of a few cases to help with resolution, test allegations, and to help indicate what is to be expected in other related cases.
MDLs aim to reduce the duplication of multiple discovery processes, prevent inconsistency amongst pretrial rulings, and conserve judicial and party resources. Plaintiffs’ lawyers can work together and combine their resources.
Similarly to MDL, in MCL, cases that share common questions of fact are centralized before a single judge. In MCL, cases filed in multiple counties within a single state are brought together before one court.
Bard PowerPort multi-district litigation
The Bard PowerPort MDL (2:23-md-3081) was assigned to Judge David Campbell in the U.S. District Court for Arizona. Most recently, Judge Campbell issued several orders to outline the upcoming steps over the next 18 months in the MDL. On November 22, 2023, Judge Campbell issued Case Management Order No.10, setting out the process for selection and discovery of the first set of bellwether cases in the MDL. The Plaintiff Pool for the bellwether cases will comprise of cases within the MDL on or before April 1, 2024. The final selection of cases will be determined in March 2025. Judge Campbell has indicated that not more than 6 bellwether cases are intended to be tried in the MDL.
Case Management Order No. 9 set out the scheduling for the discovery of common facts and experts, while Order No.7 instructed the Plaintiffs to file a revised Master Complaint by December 1, 2023. Common issue fact discovery is intended to be completed by January 31, 2025, while expert depositions are to be completed by June 30, 2025.
Am I eligible?
If you or someone you know has had a central venous catheter product implant and has suffered a major complication, Siskinds may be able to help. For a free consultation, contact us by email at [email protected] or call 1-800-461-6166. To learn more about the progress of this class action, visit siskinds.com/catheters.