Hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary continue to move forward in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, where the most recent Status Conference was convened on April 17th.
At that time, attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants informed the Court that there were currently 1,720 cases pending in the centralized proceeding. Between 80 and 100 new hernia mesh lawsuits are being filed in the Southern District of Ohio every week.
All of these cases put forth similar allegations regarding the defective nature of Bard and Davol’s polypropylene mesh implants. Specific devices named in the lawsuits include: Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch, among others.
Among other things, plaintiffs claim that Bard’s polypropylene is biologically incompatible with human tissue, increasing the risk that recipients will experience painful and debilitating complications, including scarring and adhesions, organ damage, inflammatory responses, device failure, hernia recurrence, and infections.
During last week’s Status Conference, the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee also informed the Court that it had served 19 deposition notices to company witnesses. The Committee will work with defendants’ counsel to establish a deposition schedule.
The parties’ attorneys are currently in the process of drafting a proposed Case Management Order regarding treating physician depositions. They will continue to meet and confer on that matter.
After the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee voiced concerns regarding the rate of document production, the Court ordered defense counsel to provide a date certain for when production will be complete for all 241 custodians. This notice was to be submitted on or before April 22nd.
The parties were also directed to continue providing the Court with discovery status reports, including a timeline of upcoming custodial file production deadlines.
Discovery in hernia mesh lawsuits selected as bellwether trial candidates is progressing. To facilitate communication, defense counsel will carbon-copy the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee on all correspondence with local attorneys involved in these cases.
The parties also indicated they were drafting a proposed Case Management Order governing the division of pathology specimens in bellwether cases. They will continue to meet and confer on that issue as well.
Finally, the Court postponed the next Status Conference set for June 5th due to a scheduling conflict. Notice of a new date will be issued once the Conference is rescheduled.