Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits continue to move forward in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, where all federally-filed injury claims involving C.R. Bard Inc.’s polypropylene implants have been centralized for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
According to a Case Management Order dated June 18th, the Court has established protocols governing the examination and division of pathology specimens submitted for bellwether trial pool cases. The protocol is intended to ensure that any specimens not previously tested are preserved in a manner that permits the parties equal access to and analysis of the materials.
The Order only applies to the 12 hernia mesh lawsuits included in the litigation’s bellwether trial pool, which the Court established in March. Each of the claims is currently undergoing case-specific discovery in preparation for three early trials tentatively set to begin in May 2020.
The Court will announce the final three bellwether trial selections in February.
Next year’s bellwether trials are intended to test the strength of plaintiffs’ claims, and could provide insight into how other juries might decide similar hernia mesh lawsuits. In other multidistrict litigations, bellwether trial verdicts have helped guide the parties towards a global settlement that resolved all, or nearly all, pending cases.
More than 2,400 hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in the Southern District of Ohio against Bard and is Davol, Inc. subsidiary. All involve plaintiffs who suffered hernia recurrence and other debilitating complications due to the allegedly defective nature of the defendants’ polypropylene mesh implants, including: Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch.
Polypropylene is a type of plastic frequently found in medical devices. However, plaintiffs claim that the specific material used by Bard and Davol is biologically incompatible with human tissue and greatly increases the risk that recipients will experience painful and debilitating complications, hernia mesh failure, and the need for additional corrective procedures.
They further assert that Bard and Davol failed to conduct adequate testing to ensure the polypropylene hernia mesh implants were safe and effective for their intended use, and failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about their potential risks.