Nick Bartholomew Nov. 11, 2015, 1:00pm


A Louisiana man is suing a manufacturer and a health care facility, alleging that an air warming blanket caused him bodily harm after a surgery.

Roy E. Templet filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Oct. 5 against 3M Co. and Arizant Healthcare Inc., citing negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, and other counts.

The Bair Hugger is a warming blanket designed to keep patients warm in a sterile environment after surgery, the complaint states. In February 2013, Templet was administered one of these units after a knee replacement surgery, the claim states. The unit allegedly allowed contaminates to enter the wound, causing an infection. The claim states that now he suffers permanent damage and limited walking ability as a result of the defective product.

A spokesperson for 3M provided this statement regarding the lawsuit:

"3M wants patients, surgeons and hospitals to know that there is absolutely no merit to these claims. In over 25 years and more than 200 million patients warmed successfully by 3M’s patient warming products, there is not a single confirmed incident of infection caused by the Bair Hugger system. 3M is sympathetic to patients who experience surgical site infections.

"There are many factors that are known to increase the risk of surgical site infections, some of which include having other medical problems or diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, being elderly or overweight , and smoking. There is absolutely no evidence that Bair Hugger warming therapy causes or increases the risk of surgical site infections. Patient warming is a recommended practice by leading health care institutions and professional societies  - and the Bair Hugger system is a safe, effective and efficient method of doing so. It is unfortunate that plaintiff attorneys are using bad science to blame their clients’ infections on a warming device that has helped millions of people during surgery."

Templet is seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. He is also seeking medical and other expenses along with punitive damages, litigation costs, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by Caroline W. Thomas, Stephen B. Murray Sr., Arthur M. Murray, and Caroline W. Thomas of Murray Law Firm in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-04995-JCZ-DEK

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