U.S. court docket revives almost 6,000 lawsuits over 3M surgical warming system Reuters through

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The 3M brand is seen at its world headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. on March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court docket on Monday revived almost 6,000 lawsuits alleging {that a} extensively used system produced by 3M Co to maintain surgical sufferers heat brought about them to develop infections.

The eighth U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals mentioned the Minnesota decide overseeing the litigation over 3M’s Bair Hugger system had wrongly excluded testimony from medical specialists supporting the plaintiffs’ claims.

“Hundreds of people who had been injured by this faulty and harmful system will now have their day in court docket,” mentioned Michael Sacchet, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

“We’re assured in our case and can proceed to vigorously defend ourselves,” 3M mentioned in a press release. “We’re exploring all subsequent steps and choices to problem the opinion.”

Bair Hugger consists of a central unit, hose and blanket, and is used to lower bleeding, enhance restoration instances and reduce the danger of infections for sufferers throughout operations.

The plaintiffs claimed that the system was faulty as a result of it transferred antibiotic-resistant micro organism into open surgical wounds, both by disrupting airflow within the working room or by means of contamination of the system itself.

U.S. District Decide Joan Ericksen in Minneapolis had present in 2019 that the allegations lacked scientific help, main her to toss all the lawsuits.

However the eighth Circuit mentioned that whereas there have been “weaknesses” within the opinions of the plaintiffs’ specialists, they weren’t “so basically unsupported that they needed to be excluded.”

A jury had in 2018 cleared 3M of legal responsibility within the first Bair Hugger trial, involving a South Carolina man who mentioned the system brought about an an infection after his 2010 hip substitute surgical procedure.

In its most up-to-date quarterly report, 3M had not put aside cash for Bair Hugger litigation, saying “any such legal responsibility isn’t possible and fairly estimable at the moment.”