Federal Court Approves 12 Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits for Bellwether Trial Pool

Published on March 28, 2019 by Laurie Villanueva

The federal court overseeing hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits involving C.R. Bard, Inc.’s polypropylene implants has approved 12 cases for inclusion in the litigation’s bellwether trial pool.

Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits to Begin in May 2020

According to a Case Management Order issued in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, on March 22nd, six of the Bard hernia mesh lawsuits were selected by Plaintiffs’ counsel, while the defendants’ attorneys nominated the remaining six cases.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing the Plaintiff in Pliszka vs C.R. Bard, Inc., et al (Case No. 2:2018-cv-01053-EAS-KAJ), one of the lawsuits included in the pool.

The Court will reduce the pool by half once case-specific discovery is complete. According to an earlier order, the Court will announce the three final bellwether trial selections on February 14, 2020. Those trials are tentatively scheduled to begin on May 8, 2020, July 13, 2020 and September 14, 2020.

Bellwether Trials Act as Test Cases

There are at least 241 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation now underway in the Southern District of Ohio.

The proceeding involves various polypropylene hernia mesh implants marketed by Bard and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary, including: Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch.

Plaintiffs claim, among other things, that Bard’s polypropylene was defective and biologically incompatible with human tissue. This allegedly increased the potential for painful and debilitating complications, hernia mesh failure, and the need for additional procedures to remove the implants.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized all federally-filed Bard hernia mesh lawsuits in the Southern District of Ohio last May.

The consolidated proceeding allows the cases to undergo coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings, thus preserving the resources of the courts, parties, and witnesses involved in the lawsuits.

The litigation’s bellwether trials will act as test cases, and could provide insight into how other juries might decide similar Bard hernia mesh lawsuits. In other multidistrict litigations, bellwether trial verdicts have helped steer the parties towards a global settlement that resolved all, or nearly all, pending claims.

Thousands of Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Filed in U.S. Courts

Bard is just one of several medical device manufacturers facing litigation over polypropylene hernia mesh implants

Ethicon, Inc., for example, is named a defendant in over 2,000 lawsuits involving Physiomesh Flexible Composite mesh.  Ethicon withdrew those polypropylene devices from the global market in 2016  after two European registries suggested they were associated with higher rates of recurrence and revision surgery compared to similar hernia mesh implants.

The majority of Physiomesh lawsuits have been centralized in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia. However, hundreds of others are undergoing coordinated proceedings before a single judge in New Jersey’s Atlantic County Superior Court.

More than 1,100 claims involving Atrium Medical Corp.’s C-Qur hernia mesh are undergoing centralized pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire, includes m

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