C.R. Bard Supports MDL for Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Lawsuits – But There’s a Catch

Published on May 9, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary have signaled support for the establishment of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for federally-filed product liability lawsuits involving its polypropylene hernia mesh implants, but only if the proceeding encompasses all such devices marketed by the companies.

That would include Davol’s Composix Kugel hernia patch, which was the subject of a massive product recall between December 2005 and January 2007. While Bard stopped selling the Composix Kugel patch in 2012, it was the predicate device for several other polypropylene hernia mesh products, including Ventralex and Ventrio implants.

C.R. Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

C.R. Bard and Davol are named defendants in nearly 100 hernia mesh lawsuits currently pending in federal courts throughout the nation, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who suffered hernia recurrence and other painful complications due to the companies’ allegedly defective polypropylene implants.

On April 10th, a group of these plaintiffs filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) seeking centralization of the federal docket in a single U.S. District Court, preferably the Southern District of Ohio or the Western District of Missouri. While the motion asserts that the growing number of claims would benefit from coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings, the plaintiffs specifically excluded Kugel mesh lawsuits, which were part of an earlier MDL.

Bard and Davol requested the inclusion of Composix Kugel mesh claims in a response filed with the JPML on May 3rd.  The companies have also suggested other venues for the proposed MDL, specifically the District of New Jersey or the southern District of New York.

Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Litigation

C.R. Bard and Davol are not alone in facing hernia mesh lawsuits over allegedly defective polypropylene implants.

For example, federally-filed claims involving Ethicon’s Physiomesh Composite Mesh patches have already been centralized in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia.

Ethicon withdrew certain Physiomesh implants from the global market in March 2016, after data suggested they were associated with higher rates of recurrence and revision compared to other hernia mesh implants.

In February, a  group of New Jersey  plaintiffs who sued Ethicon for injuries allegedly caused by its multi-layer polypropylene implants – including Proceed Surgical Mesh, Proceed Ventral Patch, Physiomesh Flexible Composite, Prolene 3D Polypropylene Patch, and Prolene Hernia System –  filed a petition seeking the centralization of their cases before a single judge in Bergen County Superior Court.

More than two dozen hernia mesh lawsuits involving Atrium Medical’s C-Qur implants have been centralized in another MDL currently underway in the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire.

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