The federal court overseeing hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary will permit the parties to utilize generic discovery conducted as part of the recently-closed Composix Kugel Patch litigation.
Bard and Davol recalled the Composix Kugel Hernia Patch in 2007 because of a faulty recoil ring that could buckle or break, leading to painful and potentially life-threatening complications. Hernia mesh lawsuits related to the recall were consolidated in Rhode Island federal court that same year. The multidistrict litigation closed a decade later, in September 2017.
While the proceeding was focused on the recalled Kugel mesh products, a number of hernia mesh lawsuits were also filed in Rhode Island that involved other polypropylene devices, including Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch.
According to a Case Management Order issued in the Southern District of Ohio on October 26th, any generic discovery conducted in the Kugel patch litigation may be utilized in the current multidistrict litigation. As such, the Court directed Bard to provide the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee with a hard drive of any generic discovery conducted in the Kugel patch litigation, as well as transcripts of company depositions taken in the proceeding.
The Order further stipulates that nothing about the previously-conducted discovery prevents Plaintiffs in the current multidistrict litigation from seeking additional or new discovery. Likewise, nothing about the previous discovery precludes Defendants from opposing or seeking limits on any newly-served discovery.
The multidistrict litigation currently underway in the Southern District of Ohio was established earlier this year to handle injury claims involving a range of multi-layer, polypropylene hernia mesh implants marketed by C.R. Bard and Davol.
Plaintiffs involved in this litigation claim that the polypropylene used to manufacture these implants is incompatible with human tissue, increasing the likelihood that recipients will experience hernia recurrence and other complications, including:
Just over 50 hernia mesh lawsuits were transferred to the Southern District of Ohio when the multidistrict litigation was established in May. As of October 15th, the proceeding included over 170 filings.
Earlier this month, the Court indicated that it would convene a series of bellwether trials beginning in roughly 16 months. Verdicts in these test cases could provide insight into how other juries might rule in similar Bard hernia mesh lawsuits.