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At Least 104 Federal Pain Pump Cases in 28 Distinct Federal Courts

Posted on Apr 20, 2010
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in San Diego is considering requests by plaintiffs involving federal pain pump cases to convert the individual cases in one MDL. There are least 104 federal pain pump cases in 28 distinct federal courts. This potential decision would lump all these cases into one federal case.

If the motion is acted upon, the decision will result in all the cases being brought forth together before U.S. District Court Judge Tunheim in Minnesota. Judge Tunheim has currently been residing over a majority of the pain pump cases and it is believed that he has the necessary experience to reside over a potentially single MDL.

The majority of the cases cite that physicians placed pain pumps into the intra-articular space preceding open or arthroscopic shoulder surgery, leading to complications. The complications included the continual worsening in shoulder pain despite physical therapy that lasted approximately three months after surgery.

Also, x-rays and MRIs showed that many patients found that the cartilage in the glenhumeral joint withered away as a result of the procedure.

The plaintiffs are citing that pain pump manufacturers instructed shoulder surgeons to place the catheters into the intra-articular space to minimize pain. However, doctors were allegedly never told that the specific procedure was denied by the FDA three times.

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