Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
The Bard PowerPort Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
See If You Qualify

People are filing Bard PowerPort lawsuits alleging the device causes serious complications like fractures, infections, blood clots, hemorrhage, and heart punctures. The lawsuits claim Bard Access Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Becton, Dickinson and Company, failed to warn patients of these risks. On May 24, 2023, MDL No. 3081 was filed to transfer cases to multi-district litigation. These lawsuits continue to be filed today.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Overview

The Bard PowerPort is a port-a-cath, a port catheter device that is implanted under the skin to allow easy access to a patient’s veins. Port catheters are commonly used for medical IV therapy or delivery of fluids.

The Bard PowerPort was approved by the FDA in 2000 as an implanted port catheter device. However, design and manufacturing flaws make the device prone to breakage (fracturing) and migration, causing blood clots, serious injuries, such as cardiac punctures, and severe infections.

Due to injuries caused by the port-a-cath, Bard is facing product liability lawsuits, known in the legal community as the Bard PowerPort lawsuits. Lawsuits claim that patients who had a Bard PowerPort implant may have a higher risk of complications or injuries due to catheter failure.

In August 2023, the Bard lawsuits were consolidated as a federal “multi-district litigation”, before Judge David G. Campbell. The case is MDL 3081 and officially named “IN RE: BARD IMPLANTED PORT CATHETER PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION.”

If you, your family member, or loved one had a Bard PowerPort catheter device and subsequently suffered injuries or negative health effects due to fracture, migration, or other failures of the implant, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer to get your case evaluated and prepared for a port catheter lawsuit.

Latest Bard PowerPort and Port Catheter Lawsuit Updates

June 9, 2024: Parties File Joint Memorandum Highlighting Discovery Disputes

The parties filed a joint memorandum in the Bard Powerport Lawsuit on May 22, 2024. The document outlines the current position of the parties. There have been fewer than a million documents produced by the defendants, which is actually a low number in a major medical device lawsuit like this one. The defense argues that there were only 11 lawsuits filed in the several years prior to the attorney advertising related to the multidistrict litigation. The plaintiffs say that the defendants are minimizing serious injuries, including fractures to powerports that lead to permanent injury or death. The defense says it is spending $350,000 per week to review documents to turn over in this case. We anticipate the discovery fights to continue in the Powerport Lawsuit.

May 27, 2024: Intense Discovery Phase Underway in Bard Powerport Lawsuit

The Bard Powerport Lawsuit is in the height of discovery negotiations. Case Management Order number 23, filed on May 24, 2024, by Judge Campbell, highlights several agreements as well as outstanding discovery issues in the case, which is technically referred to as IN RE: Bard Implanted Port Catheter Products Liability Litigation, MDL 3081. The order is setting up the issues for the eighth Case Management Conference, which is scheduled for July 9, 2024. Discovery is the term to describe how the parties exchange information the other side is entitled to in a lawsuit. There are discovery disputes in virtually every major lawsuit. This is an important part of the case, even though it doesn’t seem exciting. The agreements on discovery will directly affect what evidence the plaintiffs have at the time of trial. Plaintiffs are interested in knowing what Bard knew about the potential failure of the medical devices. Judge Campbell is keeping a close eye on this litigation and is showing himself as a skilled and effective judge so far in the Bard Powerport litigation.

May 15, 2024: Judge Addresses Plaintiff Profile Forms and Document Requests in Bard Powerport Lawsuit

The Bard Powerport Lawsuit received a new update on May 13, 2024, in the form of Case Management Order Number 22 from Judge Campbell. The parties are in the process of selecting Bellwether (test) cases. The defendants have raised concerns about several cases that have been filed to date in the Powerport lawsuit. The biggest complaint is incomplete Plaintiff Profile Forms (PPFs). Bard, the defendant, has also raised concerns about the number of documents requested by the plaintiff. This objection is known as proportionality. In a big lawsuit, plaintiffs can get a lot of information. In a small lawsuit, the plaintiff can’t get as much background information about the company. Generally, a major MDL like the Bard Powerport Lawsuit entitles the plaintiffs, through the plaintiffs’ lawyers, to get a lot of corporate information. The scope is not limitless, however. The judge scheduled a remote status conference for May 24, 2024, on the issues.

April 24, 2024: Judge Campbell Orders Remote Depositions in Bard Powerport Lawsuit

On April 23, 2024, United States District Court Judge David Campbell issued an order about how depositions would be handled in the Bard Powerport Lawsuit. Depositions are the sworn statements of witnesses in cases prior to the time of trial. The most interesting provisions of the order centered around the Judge’s preference for remote depositions of witnesses. In a major federal court lawsuit like the Bard Powerport litigation, where there are hundreds of millions or billions of dollars at stake, each deposition can be critical to the case. It seems surprising that the parties would be comfortable with depositions that were not in person. Most lawyers would agree that it is easier to examine someone in person and there is something lost with remote depositions. Another interesting provision is the section on cross-noticing of depositions. This means there might be state court cases that proceed on similar issues, and the lawyers will attempt to coordinate with other groups of lawyers with cases outside of federal court.

April 9, 2024: Progress in Bard PowerPort Lawsuit – Key Agreements Reached

There were two important agreements between plaintiff and defense attorneys in the Bard PowerPort lawsuit. By stipulated Order dated April 4, 2024, the parties have agreed that the defense will be entitled to certain PowerPort pathology that is in the plaintiff’s possession and the plaintiffs will also provide HIPAA-compliant authorizations, so the defense can get the plaintiff’s certified medical records. Another Order filed by the judge indicates how the parties will handle documents that they say are privileged and should not be turned over to the other side. The order refers to privilege logs. Privilege logs tell the other side there is a document, but we don’t think you should be able to see it, usually because it was the subject of attorney-client privilege. The PowerPort lawsuit seems to be moving slowly forward.

March 27, 2024: Key Study Highlights Risks in Bard Powerport Lawsuit

One of the central issues in the Bard Powerport lawsuit will be the types of injuries that the manufacturer (Bard) knew the Powerport might cause. One important study the lawyers will likely argue about is titled “Complications after implantation of subcutaneous central venous ports (PowerPort).” The study, by Takatoshi Nakamura, published in the Annals of Medicine & Surgery in May 2017, indicated that infection was a significant risk of Powerport use. The study also noted the risk of significant injury associated with rupture or fragment release from the catheter, the risk of thrombus, the risk of sepsis, and “catheter pinch-off syndrome.” Studies like this would appear to place the manufacturer on notice of specific risks associated with the use of the Bard Powerport.

March 21, 2024: Court Approves Powerport Lawsuit Plaintiff Profile Forms

This week Hon David G. Campbell, the judge overseeing the Bard Powerport Lawsuit, approved the Plaintiff Profile Form (PPF). This 30 page document must be completed by the attorney filing a lawsuit on behalf of their client. The information provided is used as reference by both the defendant and the court. The PPF contains 8 sections including Background Information; Claim Information; Medical Background; Health Insurance Information; Prior Claim Information; Fact Witnesses; Identification of Documents; and Document Requests. The approval of the PPF by the Court is an important step in the litigation. One of the next major milestones will be the approval of a Master Complaint and a Short Form Complaint.

March 9, 2024: Slow growth of Powerport Lawsuit a topic of discussion

In an updated Case Management Order by Judge Campbell, the Court addressed concerns about the slow pace of cases filed and the overall size of the MDL. To date there are approximately 115 lawsuits filed in this case, which is organized in the District of Arizona federal court. With an upcoming date to begin choosing candidates for trials, the defendant’s expressed concern that the case has not grown to the numbers predicted by the plaintiffs, and with such a small sample to choose from, any cases chosen for trial may not be fully representative of all of the potential plaintiffs. In a previous case involving IVC Filters, which was also handled by Judge Campbell, the Court noted that litigation also started very slowly but began to pick up significantly, with more than 80% of the cases being filed after 18 months. In light of this, Judge Campbell has decided that the timeline for selecting trial candidates and discovery deadlines will remain as scheduled. The bellwether trial selection process will bein on April 1, 2024.

March 1, 2024: Bard Powerport Lawsuit surpasses 100 cases

The Bard Powerport lawsuit has been slow moving. Just over a half-dozen cases were added in February, with just 107 total cases filed in the multi-district litigation case. The Powerport catheter lawsuit just became official in August of 2023, when all outstanding cases were transferred to federal court in the district of Arizona under Hon. David G. Campbell. With this case being brand new, expect several years of litigation before a full resolution.

February 2024

February 26, 2024: Common Benefit Expense Fund Accounting Structure

Consistent with the Court’s case management order, the Court has appointed a Certified Public Accountant to establish and account and record keeping practices for the Common Benefit Fund and Expenses. In an case such as the Bard Powerport lawsuit, the attorney’s selected to represent the interests of all plaintiff’s, are entitled to a portion of an award or settlement for their years of work. Importantly, this percentage comes out of the fee of attorney’s representing plaintiff’s, it is not paid by the client. This account, managed by an independent third party, will ensure transparency for all expenses incurred by the plaintiff’s leadership and eliminate comingling of funds with attorney’s accounts.

February 11, 2024: Litigation Continues for Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

Litigation continues for the Bard PowerPort lawsuit. According to the most recent filing from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), 99 lawsuits are pending consolidation.

January 2024

January 20, 2024: Judges to rule on Bard Powerport Reservoir Defects

The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) will soon rule as to whether post-reservoir defects will be added to the Bard Powerport lawsuit. There allegations deal with the use of polyoxymethylene, a type of plastic polymer, in the manufacturing of the port reservoir, and that this material breaks down over time and can cause splintering or fracturing of the device. This Powerport defect may cause infections and perforation of tissue and organs. The JPML will rule on this issue on January 25, 2024. If the panel decides to include the Bard Powerport reservoir defects in the lawsuit, the master complaints will be amended to include it the addition.

January 1, 2024: Status Conference Set for Bard Powerport Port catheter lawsuit

After a very slow month of December where only a half dozen cases were filed in the lawsuit, we’ll get a progress update from the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorney’s in a status conference to be held by Judge Campbell on January 8, 2023. With the Bard Poweport litigation still in the early stages, less than 100 cases have been filed in this “class action” style port catheter lawsuit.

>>> Read Past Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Updates Here

Table of Contents:

What is Wrong with the Bard PowerPort Device?

Patients have experienced various degrees of PowerPort complications from Bard PowerPort usage. Lawsuits claim that the Bard PowerPort has a faulty design sometimes causing the catheter tube to crack, migrate and/or leak thus significantly increasing the risk of infections, injuries, or incorrect/insufficient delivery of essential fluids or medication.

PowerPort catheter tubes are made of ChronoFlex which is made from a mixture of silicone or polyurethane and barium sulfate. Barium sulfate is used to make the device visible on X-rays.

However, the barium sulfate particles don’t seem to fully integrate into the catheter polymer and air pockets tend to form, making the material fragile. Additionally, due to high concentrations of barium sulfate the material becomes less durable, and, as the patient moves, the catheter bends and can fracture, subjecting the patient to the risks of thromboembolism and blood clots.

Catheter pieces can cause significant internal organ damage if they get into the bloodstream. Emergency surgery will then be required to remove fractured pieces and treat affected organs. The cost of removing a PowerPort is comparable to the cost of implanting it and is believed to be around $10,000 without insurance.

Bard allegedly knew about PowerPort catheter fractures, migrations, and infections since its introduction in 2000. Bard’s failure to inform patients and medical providers and to recall the product in a timely fashion resulted in serious injuries and deaths and caused patients and family members to file lawsuits hoping for justice.

Bard PowerPort Design

Bard Power Port Device shown on table
Before we discuss injuries associated with Bard PowerPort catheters it is important to understand their design and the materials used to make them.

The Bard PowerPort is an implantable catheter that is made up of two main parts:

  • The injection port: a small, self-sealing port that is implanted under the skin close to a vein. It has a silicone septum so a needle may pass through the skin and then through the septum to inject medication directly into the reservoir for an IV treatment or blood transfusion.
  • The catheter: a flexible tube that connects the injection port to a vein. The body of the catheter is made of polyurethane material and is radiopaque (it is visible on X-rays/MRIs). Some Bard PowerPort catheters are made using ChronoFlex (a family of biocompatible aromatic polycarbonate-based thermoplastic elastomers). ChronoFlex is supposed to be more durable than polyurethane.
Injection portSilicone
CatheterPolyurethane or ChronoFlex

The Bard PowerPort is used to deliver medications, fluids, and blood transfusions. It is often used in cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy or other cancer therapies. PowerPort is also used in patients with chronic kidney disease or who need regular blood transfusions.

Common Bard PowerPort Complications and Injuries

Power Port complications the patients have voiced suggest that the PowerPort device is less durable than it should be. A growing number of lawsuits point out a flaw in the design of the Chronoflex catheters that result in the following Bard Power Port problems:

  1. Catheter fracture injuries
  2. Catheter-related infections
  3. Catheter migration

Catheter Fracture Injuries

The PowerPort catheter tube is prone to fracturing, which can lead to small pieces of plastic breaking away and getting into the vascular system, potentially leading to life-threatening complications. Complications from fractured pieces may include:

  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Cardiac punctures
  • Blood clots
  • Hematomas
  • Lacerations to blood vessels
  • Cardiac/pericardial tamponade (pressure caused by an accumulation of fluid in the area around the heart)
  • Thromboembolism
  • Perforations of tissue, vessels and organs (i.e. heart or lungs)

Bard catheter failure can also result in severe and persistent pain. Emergency surgery is often required to remove fractured pieces and treat affected organ systems.

Catheter Infection Injuries

Patients with a Bard catheter may develop infections due to bacteria entering broken areas of the PowerPort. Common symptoms of an infection include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Inflammation, redness, swelling or pain around the catheter site
  • Drainage or pus
  • Skin discoloration
  • Numbness
  • Confusion

Complications from catheter infection can be serious and even life-threatening.

Infection around the catheter site can lead to bloodstream infections, severe swelling, and even necrosis of tissues around the PowerPort.

Catheter Migration

Catheter disconnection and migration are rare but serious complications associated with Bard PowerPort. It can lead to side effects such as venous thrombosis and neurologic problems.

Patients experiencing catheter migration can be asymptomatic, which makes diagnosis and treatment more difficult. The most common port-a-cath migration symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Chest pain
  • Ear pain
  • Heart palpitations

Entire catheter dislodgment is even more rare, but unfortunately possible and requires emergency surgery.

Catheter migration can lead to obstruction of blood flow, infection and organ damage.

Bard PowerPort Lawsuit Allegations

The Bard PowerPort lawsuits claim that the devices are defective, creating possible infections and catheter failures that can lead to thrombosis, organ damage, and even death. The lawsuits allege that Bard Access Systems, Inc., and its parent company, Becton Dickinson and Company, the manufacturers of the PowerPort, knew about the risks associated with the device, but failed to inform patients and medical professionals.

The lawsuits specifically note that the PowerPort is susceptible to fractures and infections. Some of the specific injuries that have been reported in connection with the PowerPort include:

  • Thrombosis
  • Damage to veins and blood vessels
  • Necrosis
  • Blood clots
  • Cardiac/pericardial tamponade
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Perforations of vessels, organs, and tissue
  • Chronic pain

Manufacturer Recalls of Bard PowerPort Devices

Bard Power Port Brochure
Bard recently initiated a recall for multiple lots of PowerPort. The following products were affected:

  1. PowerPort Implantable Port With Attachable 9.6 F Open-Ended Single-Lumen Venous Catheter REF: 1709600, Air Guard, With suture Plugs, (01)00801741026720;
  2. PowerPort Implantable Port With Attachable 9.6 F Open-Ended Single- Lumen Venous Catheter, REF: 1709601, Air Guard, Without Suture Plugs, (01)00801741026737;
  3. PowerPort Implantable Port with Pre-Attached 9.6F Open-Ended Single-Lumen Venous Catheter, REF: 1759600 Air Guard, With Suture Plugs, (01)00801741026850

If you have a Bard PowerPort implant, it is important to consult your doctor immediately to see if your catheter is affected by the recall. You can also check the FDA’s website for a list of all recalls of Bard PowerPort devices.

PowerPort Settlement and Payout Amounts

It is difficult to predict the Bard settlement amounts. Further, the amount of compensation you could receive from a PowerPort lawsuit settlement will depend on the severity of your/your loved one’s injuries. It is also important to note that compensation or even favorable outcome of the trial are not guaranteed.

Possible damages may include:

  • The cost of past and future medical treatments
  • Legal fees
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earning potential
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • The loss of a loved one

The specific amount of compensation you receive will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. For a case evaluation, consult our team of experienced product liability and personal injury lawyers.

How to File a Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

Filing a Bard PowerPort lawsuit can be a complicated process. We recommend working with a lawyer who has experience handling similar cases. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Consult an attorney. An experienced Bard PowerPort attorney can help you evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible to file a claim. They can also help you understand the legal process and timeline.
  2. Gather evidence. You will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This usually includes medical records, photographs, witness statements, and medical bills.
  3. With the help of your lawyer, file a lawsuit. Once you have gathered evidence, you will need to file a lawsuit against Bard Access Systems, Inc., and its parent company, Becton Dickinson and Company.
  4. Discovery process. After the lawsuit is filed, the parties will engage in pre-trial discovery. This may include exchanging documents and requesting medical records, bills, and proof of payment.
  5. Trial. If the case doesn’t get settled, it will go to trial. At trial, a jury will decide whether Bard is responsible for your injuries and subsequent suffering/loss of income/loss of consortium/etc. If the jury finds Bard responsible then they will determine the payout amount you are entitled to.
  6. Appeal. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the trial, you and your lawyer may appeal the decision.

Contact a Port Catheter Injury Lawyer

A lawyer will help you navigate the legal system, provide you with peace of mind, and ensure you get compensated fairly.  

At King Law, we are a team of experienced personal injury lawyers with a strong commitment to our clients. Call us today to see if you qualify for the Bard PowerPort lawsuit.

Latest News on Bard PowerPort

December 2023

December 3, 2023: Court Approves Short Form Complaint in Powerport Port Catheter “Class Action” Lawsuit

On November 30, 2023, Judge Campbell, who is overseeing the Bard Powerport Port Catheter “class-action” style lawsuit in Arizona Federal District Court, issued an order approving the short form complaint. This document, which is a condensed version of the long-form complaint, details the allegations made by the plaintiff’s that the devices caused serious injuries such as splintering, blood clots, organ perforation, infections and others. The complaint also outlines the specific products that are the basis of the lawsuit. After a plaintiff’s attorney builds the case for their client, they will file the short-form complaint with the court, initiating the lawsuit.

November 2023

November 21, 2023: Bard Files Motion to Strike Allegations from PowerPort catheter Master Complaint

The defendants (C.R. Bard) in the PowerPort Catheter class action lawsuit are asking the judge overseeing the case to strike certain allegations in the proposed master complaint. A master complaint is a document which outlines in great detail the allegations and injuries which are the basis of the lawsuit. Bard claims they improperly expand the scope of the multi-district litigation (MDL) lawsuit. The defendant contends that the plaintiff’s are attempting to add new allegations that are not relevant to the focus of the lawsuit. The argument pertains to whether certain components of the product are defective. The defendants are asking a judge to rule on the issue prior to responding to the proposed master complaint. The judge responded and noted that he will take the request under consideration.

October 2023

October 1, 2023: Court holds initial conference in Bard Powerport Lawsuit

Recently, Hon David G. Campbell, the judge in charge of the Bard Powerport Lawsuit held a conference to discuss motions and responses filed by both parties. Additionally, Court announced it will hold the first Case Management Conference on November 16, 2023, in federal court for the District of Arizona, where the case has been consolidated. The Court is also expected to make a decision on the selection of a Plaintiff’s leadership committee in the coming weeks. Lawyers selected for the leadership positions will be responsible for representing the best interests for all plaintiff’s.

September 2023

September 14, 2023: Leadership Structure Proposed in Bard PowerPort Lawsuit

Nearly 40 plaintiff’s attorneys have just been proposed to hold leadership positions in the ongoing Bard PowerPort lawsuit. This proposal nominates: 3 attorneys to serve as Co-Lead Counsel; 11 attorneys to serve on the Executive Counsel or Liaison Counsel; 13 attorneys to serve on the Steering Committee; and, 12 attorneys to serve as Sub-Committee Members. It will be the responsibility of leadership committee members to carry out specific functions throughout the litigation process. Some of these functions may include, but are not limited to conducting investigations and interviews that have a shared interest in all claims, preparing and presenting arguments before the Court, and engaging in settlement discussions that lay the groundwork for resolving all claims related to Bard PowerPort lawsuit injuries. These attorneys are obligated to act in the best interest of every individual that has brought a claim for injury against Bard PowerPort, and that each individual claim will remain separate and distinct from one another. As a component of organizing these lawsuits, it is anticipated that the Judge will order the plaintiff’s and the defendant to select several “test” cases for trial. These so-called “bellwether” trials will serve as a means of assessing how juries might react to specific injuries, evidence and testimony. The results of these test trials will form the groundwork for later settlement negotiations. This litigation is still in the very beginning stages of a process that is expected to take several years.

June 2023
Oral arguments are planned to be heard on July 27, 2023 to decide whether to create a Bard MDL.
May 2023
A motion was filed to centralize Bard PowerPort lawsuits before one judge for discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Bard PowerPort?
A Bard PowerPort is an implantable vascular access device made by Bard Access Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Becton Dickinson and Company.
How does a port catheter work?
A port catheter is a medical device that is implanted under the skin. The Bard PowerPort is implanted under the skin in a procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia. To use a port catheter, a healthcare provider will insert a needle through the septum of the injection port and into the catheter. The needle can then be used to deliver medication, blood or fluids into the bloodstream.
What causes fracture and migration in port catheters?
There are a few factors that can cause fracture and migration in port catheters. These include catheter design, frequent catheter use, and catheter placement. Additionally there are patient factors at play, including age, medical conditions and level of physical activity.
What is a port catheter?
A port catheter is a medical device that is implanted under the skin to make IV therapies or blood transfusions easier.
When was the Bard PowerPort developed?
Port catheters were first developed in 1982. The Bard PowerPort was approved by the FDA and first marketed in 2000.
What are the problems with the Bard PowerPort?
The Bard PowerPort is generally considered safe. However, some patients have experienced complications including catheter fracture, catheter migration and catheter-related infections. Other complications that have been reported with the Bard PowerPort include pain, bruising and swelling following the implantation procedure.
What does a PowerPort do?
A PowerPort is a medical device that is used to deliver medications, fluids, and blood to patient’s bloodstream. It is often indicated for patients who receiving chemotherapy, need regular blood transfusions or have chronic kidney disease.
What can go wrong with a port removal?
Port removal is a relatively simple procedure, commonly performed in medical practice, but there are some risks associated with it. These risks include bruising, bleeding, infection, catheter fracture (which is rare), catheter migration (which is also rare), and nerve damage.
How long do port catheters last?
Port catheters typically last for 5-6 years, but they may need to be replaced sooner if they are damaged or the patient’s condition changes. The lifespan of a port catheter depends on a variety of factors, including the type of catheter, how often it is used, and the patient’s overall health.
What is a Bard PowerPort made of?
A Bard PowerPort is made of a silicone injection port and a polyurethane/ChronoFlex catheter.