Bard PowerPort Litigation

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

Plaintiffs bring cases against manufacturers of port catheter devices 

 

Wallace Miller is investigating cases against the manufacturers of the Bard PowerPort medical device. According to recent lawsuits, these catheter port devices can cause a range of serious complications and injuries. The port catheter devices have been found to fracture and migrate after implant, causing injuries including infections, blood clots, and vascular perforation. 

If you believe that you or a loved one have been harmed by the Bard PowerPort device, get in touch with an attorney at Wallace Miller at 312-261-6193 for a free and confidential consultation. If you would prefer to assess your case online, you can fill out our questionnaire to find out whether you may be eligible in just a few minutes. 

What is the Bard PowerPort device? 

The Bard PowerPort Implantable Port is an implanted medical catheter device that makes it easier for patients to receive repeated injections into the bloodstream. Also called an Injection Port, Port-a-Catheter, and Port-a-Cath, it allows for intravenous (or IV) delivery of fluids, medication, and nutrition without requiring the reinsertion of an IV for every injection. 

A doctor administers an injection via the patient’s port-a-cath. Photograph by Rhonda Baer for the National Cancer Institute.

 

Port catheter devices like these are implanted under the skin when a patient’s medical team needs repeated access to the vascular system. Also called the circulatory system, the vascular system is made up of vessels, like veins and arteries, that carry blood and lymph through the body. 

A port catheter device is composed of two main elements: the injection port and the catheter. The injection port, or reservoir, is the part of the device in which the needle is inserted to deliver medication. In the image above, the port is the triangular purple attachment. 

The catheter is a small flexible tube attached to the port. Most often made of polyurethane, it runs from the port into a blood vessel. Medication, fluids, or nutrition travel from the injection port through the catheter and into the bloodstream. 

Why is the PowerPort used? 

Devices like the Bard PowerPort are used when a patient’s medical team needs regular access to the vascular system. In cases like these, a patient may need many injections, and it would be inconvenient, painful, or time-consuming to reinsert an IV line every time an injection was necessary. 

Port catheter device implants are very common in the U.S., with more than 300,000 implants of port devices in the country every year. They are most often used for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment and are also often used for those with severe autoimmune disorders. 

 

The vascular system carries blood and lymph through the body. Photograph by Pixabay.

What complications are associated with Bard PowerPort devices? 

The PowerPort lawsuits brought by plaintiffs hold that the flexible catheter tube in the device was manufactured with a substance called barium sulfate. When exposed to the bloodstream, barium sulfate has been shown to cause the surface of the catheter to degrade.  

The loss of barium sulfate particles from the catheter surface can lead to microfractures, fissures, and alterations to the tube structure. These, in turn, can cause more significant fractures, infections, blood clots, and other injuries. 

Who are the defendants in the PowerPort litigations? 

The defendants in the PowerPort lawsuit are Bard Access Systems, Inc.; its wholly owned subsidiary and device manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc. and their parent company Becton, Dickinson and Company. 

The defendants are market leaders of comparable medical devices. Their products account for more than 50% of sales of domestic implanted port devices.  

The history of the Bard PowerPort device 

The Bard PowerPort device was first marketed in the year 2000. According to the lawsuits filed against the company, Bard soon began to receive adverse event reports (AERs) from healthcare professionals detailing serious injuries including fractures, vascular perforation, hemorrhage, infection, and death. 

Despite the numerous AERs it received, lawsuits allege that Bard did not warn consumers of the potential risk or move to change the materials in the device. These reports were also not available to the public due to the FDA’s Alternative Summary Reporting (ASR) program, which ran from 1997 to June 2019. Under this program, manufacturers were allowed to request exemptions, alternatives, and variances to reporting requirements, and reports filed were not available to the public or to healthcare providers.  

When this information did become available in 2019, researchers found that 65% of the adverse events reported with catheter port devices were filed through ASR rather than through the publicly available Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience database.  

In 2020, a large study surveyed more than 90,000 patients who had received an implanted port device. The study found that within five years, injuries including infections, arrhythmogenic and thromboembolic complications, and fractures of the device were very common. More than half of patients surveyed reported related complications, with a rate of 59.04% across all types of injury.  

Injuries linked to the defective PowerPort

Photograph by Pixabay.

The PowerPort litigations filed so far have cited a number of serious health issues as a result of the use of the device. These injuries include: 

Catheter fracture 

Patients have reported breakage and fracture of the catheter tube due to issues with the flexible material. The brittleness of the material means that parts may break off and lodge in the vascular system, causing significant medical complications. 

PowerPort infection 

When barium sulfate particles are lost from the surface of the catheter, the fractures and degradation make it possible for bacteria to enter and grow at the site of the port. If left untreated, this can lead to serious infections or sepsis for the patient.  

PowerPort migration 

Due to the degradation of the catheter tube inserted into the blood vessel, the catheter can shift from its original placement. This can cause potential cardiac issues, including perforation and infection. 

Blood clots 

Use of faulty catheter tube devices has been linked to the development of blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These can be life-threatening.  

Damage to the vascular system 

The migration and fracture of the catheter tube can cause the perforation of veins, tissues, and blood vessels when elements of the material shift from their original location. 

 

Bard PowerPort lawsuits 

Multiple lawsuits against the manufacturers of the PowerPort devices have been filed alleging harm caused by the catheter port devices. 

The plaintiffs claim that the defendants either knew or should have known that their product was dangerous. They also allege that Bard intentionally misled patients and medical professionals by claiming that the PowerPort was safe. By knowingly putting a dangerous product on the market and failing to warn consumers about the potential risks, plaintiffs claim that Bard caused significant harm to users of its product. 

Who is eligible to file a Bard PowerPort lawsuit? 

You may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the Bard PowerPort device if you fit the following criteria: 

  • Have had a Bard PowerPort device implant; 
  • Dealt with medical complications due to issues from the device, including migration, fracture, or infection; and 
  • Suffered significant injuries due to the use of the PowerPort device. 

If you believe that you or a loved one may have a case against the manufacturers of the Bard PowerPort device, call Wallace Miller today at 312-261-6193 for a confidential and free consultation or fill out our online questionnaire to receive an assessment of your case in just a few minutes.  

Bard PowerPort lawsuit updates 

As of June 2023, there are about 10 individual lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of the catheter port device. A motion to consolidate these cases was filed on June 12, requesting that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidate the lawsuits. If the multidistrict litigation goes forward, it will be consolidated in the Western District Court of Missouri under the Honorable Stephen R. Bough.  

Due to the widespread use of catheter port devices in the U.S. and the high rate of injury amongst users, it is possible that the multidistrict litigation could eventually involve thousands or even tens of thousands of cases. 

What is a multidistrict litigation? 

In cases where a large number of lawsuits are filed against the same defendants, those cases can be brought together into a multidistrict litigation, or MDL. Instead of investigating the circumstances of each case separately, MDLs allow plaintiffs, defendants, and courts to gather information on issues shared by all the cases at once. 

A judge will oversee the MDL process in a federal district court. Under the supervision of the judge, the attorneys for the plaintiffs will file a joint complaint. Then, the defendants will file an answer. The attorneys on both sides will gather information and conduct pretrial processes that apply to all cases. 

Throughout this process, the case of each individual plaintiff remains separate. If the attorneys don’t reach a settlement that applies to all cases, the litigations may be sent back to their individual district courts to be tried. 

August 2023 Case update

On August 8, 2023, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) officially established a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for Bard PowerPort cases in Arizona federal court. For the 10 actions currently pending against Bard as well as lawsuits filed in the future, the consolidation will aid attorneys in investigating the facts common to all cases, make the process more convenient for parties and witnesses, and increase the efficiency of the litigation. 

The District of Arizona was selected as the location for the nationwide litigation because defendant Bard Access Systems has a significant business presence in that district. As a result, many relevant witnesses may be located in the area. 

The JPML selected the Honorable David G. Campbell to oversee the litigation. Judge Campbell is also currently presiding over litigation regarding IVC Filters product liability (MDL No. 2641) which involves another medical device manufactured by Bard. 

Filing a Bard PowerPort lawsuit 

As part of the process of filing a lawsuit against the Bard PowerPort device manufacturers, our PowerPort attorneys will gather evidence about your medical history and the injuries caused by the device. Then, our attorneys will work to establish the connection between the manufacturers’ production of a faulty device and the subsequent harm caused by the product. 

Wallace Miller relies entirely on successful settlements to pay operation fees. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for our clients. If we are able to take on your PowerPort lawsuit, you will not incur any kind of fee from our firm unless we win your case and procure a settlement.  

Wallace Miller: Your Bard PowerPort lawsuit injury lawyers 

Wallace Miller is proud to represent plaintiffs in mass tort litigations across the U.S. Our law firm is focused on protecting the victims of negligence and fraud through consumer protection, product liability, employment, environmental and toxic harm, and personal injury litigation. 

We know that there are many choices available to you when looking for a lawyer to represent you in cases like the Bard PowerPort lawsuit. What sets us apart from other firms is our commitment to our clients, our ability to handle complex high-stakes litigation, and our outstanding track record of success. We only take on cases that our firm has faith in—those that can make a difference in our clients’ lives. 

Wallace Miller attorneys (left to right) Jessica Wieczorkiewicz, Mark R. Miller, Molly Condon Wells, Edward Wallace, Timothy E. Jackson. Not pictured, Nicholas P. Kelly.

Contact Wallace Miller today to file your Bard PowerPort lawsuit 

Questions about your potential PowerPort case? Call our office at 312-261-6193 or fill out our online questionnaire to receive a confidential and free consultation in minutes. 

Tell Us Your Story