An implantable catheter device manufactured and sold by C.R. Bard and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. could be the source of over 10,000 lawsuits, according to estimates from a plaintiff’s attorney. Manufacturer and parent companies of the Bard PowerPort Implantable Port are already facing a stream of lawsuits in the wake of a damaging report and a string of patient injuries, according to Law.com.
Plaintiffs are alleging injuries arising from the implantable catheter device, which is intended to give easy access to a patient’s vascular system. The device consists of a flexible catheter connected to a triangular port surgically implanted under the skin. From there, doctors and nurse practitioners can insert nutrients, medicine, and saline directly into the patient’s heart for dispersal into the bloodstream. The Port is particularly useful as an aid for receiving chemotherapy.
The issue with the Bard PowerPort lies with the catheter attachment, a thin, flexible tube made of polyurethane. According to plaintiffs, this catheter has an unreasonable risk of fracture, which results in pieces migrating into the body, causing chest pain, blood clots, and blockages in the lung arteries. Additionally, life-threatening surgeries may be required to extract pieces of the catheter from cardiac and pulmonary tissue.
Plaintiffs allege that Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., C.R. Bard, and their parent company Becton, Dickinson, and Company, have vastly underestimated the incidence rate of complications. Attorneys for the plaintiff have cited a 2021 report that found a 59% complication rate among Bard PowerPort devices.
One attorney who spoke to Law.com was Adam Evans, a partner at Dickerson Oxton, who claims that there will be “a whole bunch more” lawsuits. According to Evans, with 300,000 devices implanted nationwide and 70% market share controlled by Bard, there could be as many as 10,000 lawsuits filed. While the defense has claimed that these cases are overinflated due to a “coordinated attorney advertising campaign,” Evans told Law.com that “They can vilify attorney advertising all they want, but what it does is reveal injuries, not create them.”