Bard Hernia Mesh Court Establishes Protocols for Amended Complaints in Bellwether Cases

Published on June 11, 2019 by Sandy Liebhard

The federal court overseeing hundreds of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary has established protocols for the filing of Amended Complaints in bellwether cases.

According to a Case Management Order issued in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, on June 7th, bellwether plaintiffs have 7 days from the date of the Order to file an Amended Complaint, should they desire to do so. They must also provide a copy of the Amended Complaint to the Defendants’ Counsel via email.

Bard hernia mesh defendants must submit a “more robust and detailed” Answer and Defenses, including all affirmative defenses, no later than 10 days after an Amended Complaint has been filed in a bellwether lawsuit.

Any plaintiff not filing an Amended Complaint, but who previously filed a Short Form Complaint, must also notify the Defendants’ Counsel via email. The notice is to all list claims from the Master Complaint they intend to assert, as well the state laws that apply to their hernia mesh lawsuit.

Defendants will then have 10 days to submit a corresponding Notice of Defenses.

Bard Hernia Mesh Trials to Begin in May 2020

More than 1,600 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits are currently pending in the Southern District of Ohio, where all federally-filed personal injury claims involving the company’s polypropylene hernia patch implants have been centralized for coordinated discovery and other pretrial proceedings.

Plaintiff’s allege that the polypropylene used to manufacture these devices – including Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch, among others – is biologically incompatible with human tissue. This purportedly places recipients at risk for painful and debilitating complications, including scarring and adhesions, organ damage, inflammatory responses, device failure, hernia recurrence, and infections.

The Court previously indicated its intention to convene three bellwether trials,beginning on May 8, 2020, July 13, 2020 and September 14, 2020. These trials will involve hernia mesh lawsuits representative of others included in the litigation and could provide insight into how juries might decide similar claims.

In March, the Court established a pool of 12 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits, which are now undergoing case-specific discovery in preparation for bellwether trials.  The Court will eventually reduce the pool by half once discovery is complete. The final bellwether trial selections will be announced on February 14, 2020.

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