The Bard PowerPort Catheter Lawsuit

Throughout the country, many people that have suffered injuries, infections, and other negative health events due to defective implanted port catheters have started to pursue national litigation against Bard, the manufacturer of these medical devices. Other prominent medical device manufacturers like AngioDynamics and Smiths Medical have also been named defendants in defective implanted port catheters cases.

Many of these product liability lawsuits center around the Bard PowerPort (also called the Bard MRI Port) and the Bard SlimPort, both of which have been found to be more prone to fracture and migration. These particular defects can result in severe injury and vascular damage. Serious infection can also result as the material used in these implanted port catheters degrades. Evidence shows that Bard and other medical device manufacturers that make functionally identical products were well aware of these defects at the time of manufacturing.

Injuries or deaths caused by medical devices can be particularly hard on victims and their families. At a time when they were most vulnerable, the medical devices patients relied on to aid their recovery or improve their quality of life worsened their health instead. When medical device manufacturers hurt people due to their negligence, the expert product liability lawyers at Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP are there to help.

If you or a loved one suffered or passed away due to injuries or infections caused by Bard PowerPort catheters, you deserve justice. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to winning the maximum possible compensation for you so that you can have restitution for your pain, suffering, and medical bills. With over 250 years of combined courtroom experience and a track record of over 100,000 successful cases, our skillful trial lawyers are more than qualified to represent you in your lawsuit.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the legal experts at Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP, call 1-800-568-7500 or fill out our contact form today.

What are implanted port catheters?

An implanted port catheter, also known as a port-a-cath, is a small central venous access port placed in the chest area under the skin. The implanted port catheter is attached to a thin, flexible tube that is threaded along a large vein into a site near the heart. Once implanted, the device is used by medical professionals to conveniently administer medication or therapy intravenously or extract blood without needing to use a new IV. These catheters are typically made of a self-sealing material like silicone so that it can withstand numerous syringe punctures over its use.

Most frequently, implanted port catheters are employed with cancer patients who require frequent radiation therapy for treatment. These medical devices are also used for some patients who need frequent:

  • Blood transfusions
  • Blood draws
  • Chemotherapy
  • Antibiotic treatments
  • Other IV treatments

Since their introduction in 1992, completely implantable port catheters have found wide use in medicine. Medical professionals implant about 5 million of these port catheters in patients every year.

Complications and injuries caused by Bard PowerPort catheters

About 80% of those 5 million implanted port catheters are produced by Bard. In 2022, a 10-year retrospective study published in the Journal of Interventional Medicine found that nearly 20% of patients suffered a complication related to their implanted port catheter. These complications included:

Complication % Occurrence Number (out of 5 million)
Catheter dislocation (including fracture) 3.0% 150,000
Catheter-related thrombosis 3.2% 160,000
Catheter-associated bacteremia 3.2% 160,000
Pneumothorax 1.2% 60,000

Other adverse health effects include cardiac/pericardial tamponade, cardiac arrhythmia, perforations of vessels, organs, and tissue, and chronic pain. Sometimes, additional surgeries are required to remove the defective device. These complications can be life-threatening and have proven fatal for a number of patients.

Bard PowerPort manufacturing defects

Currently, all implanted catheter devices on the market are built with polyurethane and barium sulfate. Over time, barium sulfate particles can separate from the catheter, compromising the durability and strength of the catheter. Tiny fissures and changes to the structure of the plastic then greatly increase the risk of the catheter migrating, fracturing, or otherwise malfunctioning.

The likelihood of these malfunctions occurring is dependent on two factors: how evenly the barium sulfate is distributed throughout the catheter and how much barium sulfate is used in its construction. Many of the lawsuits against Bard and other medical device manufacturers allege that too much barium sulfate was used in the production of their catheters, resulting in uneven distribution of the compound. This ultimately caused these particular implanted port devices to be more prone to malfunction and, consequently, injury in the people that depended on them.

Types of implanted port catheter malfunctions

The flaws in the construction of these implanted port catheters can lead to three major types of malfunctions or post-implantation failures.

PowerPort Catheter Migration

Because of their design flaws, PowerPort implanted catheters are prone to post-implantation migration. When this occurs, the catheter moves from its safe, intended location in the body to other areas of the body through the blood vessels. Complications of port catheter migration can include infection, thrombosis, extravasation, pneumothorax, hemorrhage, and catheter embolization.

PowerPort Catheter Fracture

Due to the improper proportion of barium sulfate in the defective port catheters, these devices are also brittle and susceptible to fracture. The port housing and tubing can break off, posing a great threat to the vascular system and potentially leading to severe injury.

Infection or Sepsis

As the defective implanted port catheters degrade, pores form in the polyurethane that can harbor bacteria. If undetected or left untreated too long, this can lead to severe infection, sepsis, and even death.

Frequently asked questions about the PowerPort catheter lawsuit

How could a lawyer help me with my implanted port catheter lawsuit?

While it is possible to file a lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer on your own, it is generally not recommended, especially since many of these lawsuits are already being grouped into a type of legal proceeding called multidistrict litigation (MDL). These types of cases can be complex and require a deep understanding of the legal system and the specific issues involved. A qualified product liability lawyer can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the legal process, helping to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

What are the grounds of the PowerPort catheter lawsuit?

Primarily, the lawsuits against Bard and other relevant medical device manufacturers revolve around the failure to warn. Manufacturers have a responsibility to consumers to warn them about the risks associated with usage of their devices. These products pose a significant risk to their users when used for their intended purpose.

That is not the full extent of the allegations, however. Many of the lawsuits already filed against these manufacturers have put forth claims that these companies knew that their implanted port catheters were defective and that they hid evidence regarding their failure rates from the FDA. These allegations are quite serious and, if confirmed, will prove incredibly damaging to these companies’ defense.

What kind of damages could be awarded from the PowerPort catheter lawsuit?

Because failure of an implanted port catheter can lead to such serious injuries and complications, you and your family could be awarded a wide variety of damages should you win your lawsuit. These damages could include: loss of earning capacity, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, medical costs, wrongful death, and more.

What evidence is needed to support a port-a-cath lawsuit?

To support your case, a lawyer would work with you to collect as much evidence as possible to prove that a medical device manufacturer’s negligence caused you harm and negatively impacted your health. This evidence commonly includes medical bills, medical records, photos and videos of any visible injuries, relevant x-rays or scans, testimony from witnesses or loved ones, and treatment information. Before you consult with a lawyer, it would be a good idea to collect as much documentation about any procedures related to your port-a-cath as possible.

How much does it cost to hire a PowerPort lawyer?

Most pharmaceutical liability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only receive payment if you win your case. If you win, they will take a percentage of your settlement or jury award as their fee. The percentage may vary depending on the specifics of your case and the law firm you choose.

How long does an implanted port catheter lawsuit typically take to resolve?

The length of time it takes to resolve your lawsuit can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the specific details of your case, the court system, and the availability of evidence. Some cases may be resolved through a settlement agreement within a matter of months, while others may take several years to reach a resolution.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation

To help maximize your chances of recovering damages for the suffering you have experienced due to a defective implanted port catheter, it’s critical to have an expert product liability legal team involved. Our pharmaceutical liability lawyers manage lawsuits in all 50 states. We offer free consultations with our attorneys so that we can help you better understand your legal options and the strength of your case. For more information, call Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP at 1-800-568-7500 or fill out our contact form today.

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