3M’s patient warming device goes on trial in Minneapolis

The Bair Hugger, a widely used patient warming system from 3M Co., takes center stage in a federal trial scheduled to begin Monday that could affect thousands of patients who came down with serious joint infections after surgery. 

A widely used patient warming system from 3M Co. takes center stage in a federal trial scheduled to begin Monday in Minneapolis that could affect thousands of patients who came down with serious joint infections after surgery.

South Carolina retiree Louis Gareis, 76, says that 3M’s Bair Hugger warming device most likely caused a serious infection in his artificial hip joint by depositing bacteria-laden particles in his surgical wound in 2010. It forced him to have a second surgery two years later to replace the infected implant.

Maplewood-based 3M denies that its device caused Gareis’ injury and argues that no legitimate science shows his theory of the infection is credible.

Expected to last about three weeks, the trial before U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen has been designated a “bellwether” case, the first of more than 4,000 individual lawsuits pending against 3M to go to a jury.

Bellwether trials are commonly used to test arguments in a small number of cases to help determine whether to litigate, settle or drop other lawsuits with similar allegations. That means the Gareis case may affect the thousands of other pending Bair Hugger cases.

By Joe Carlson | StarTribune

Image Credit: 3M

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About Peter Coffaro 437 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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