October 13, 2016

Dallas Lawyer Named Co-Lead Counsel in Dentists’ Class Action Against 3M

Lawsuits claim dentists forced to pay for company’s defective dental crowns

ST. PAUL, Minnesota – U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank of St. Paul has named Dallas trial lawyer Warren Burns as co-lead counsel in a consolidated group of class-action lawsuits filed by dentists accusing Minneapolis-based 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) of manufacturing defective dental crowns and forcing thousands of dental practices nationwide to cover the cost of replacements.

Burns, of Burns Charest LLP, initially filed the proposed class action earlier this year, and will serve as lead counsel for the plaintiffs with Daniel C. Hedlund of Gustafson Gluek PLLC in Minneapolis. The firms will coordinate all pre-trial filings and further consideration of class certification by the court.

The court also confirmed a seven-member executive committee for the plaintiffs, with James J. Pizzirusso of Hausfeld LLP in Washington, D.C., as chairperson.

According to the litigation, 3M aggressively began marketing its Lava Ultimate crowns in 2011, telling dentists that the crowns provided unmatched aesthetics and durability for tooth restorations. But the plaintiff dentists say the 3M crowns failed at rates of 50 percent or more, requiring expensive replacements. The company pulled the Lava Ultimate products for use in restorative crowns from the market last summer and admitted that the product was “de-bonding at a higher-than-anticipated rate.”

Replacing 3M’s de-bonded crowns can cost dentists more than $1,000 per restoration, Mr. Burns says.

The proposed class includes dentists or corporate dental practices in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam who purchased and/or used 3M’s Lava Ultimate Restorative.

The case is Vikram Bhatia et al v. 3M Company, Case No. 0:16-cv-01304, in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota.

Burns Charest is a Dallas and New Orleans-based trial law firm with a national practice representing consumers and businesses. The firm represents clients in large, complex class actions; antitrust claims; oil and gas royalty disputes; environmental pollution cases; and asbestos exposure claims. To learn more, visit