The federal court overseeing thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, Inc. and its Davol, Inc. subsidiary has postponed two upcoming bellwether trials because of the ongoing coronavirus emergency.
Those trials were scheduled to get underway in May and June. But according to an Order issued in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, on March 24th, the May trial has been pushed back to July 13, 2020. The first of two final pretrial conferences will now be convened on June 29th, with the second to be held on July 7th and July 8th.
A second Order issued that same day postpones the June trial until September 29th. The first final pretrial conference will be convened on September 9th, while the second will follow on September 15th and 16th.
There are currently more than 3,560 hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation underway in the Southern District of Ohio. All were filed on behalf of patients who experienced hernia recurrence and other debilitating complications due to the allegedly defective nature of the defendant’s polypropylene implants, including Composix E/X Mesh, Ventralex Hernia Mesh, Ventralight ST Mesh, Composix Mesh, Kugel Hernia Patch, CK Parastomal Patch, and the Modified Kugel Patch.
Plaintiffs claim that Bard and Davol have long known that the polypropylene used to manufacture these devices was biologically incompatible with human tissue and not suitable for permanent implantation. Yet the companies continued to market polypropylene hernia mesh as safe and effective and failed to warn the public about potential risks.
The first Bard hernia mesh lawsuit scheduled for trial involves Ventralight ST Mesh. Verdicts in the litigation’s bellwether trials could provide valuable insight into how future juries might rule in similar cases.
Unfortunately, Bard hernia mesh trials are far from the only legal proceedings delayed because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, in fact, the federal court overseeing thousands of lawsuits involving Ethicon, Inc.’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite mesh hernia implants indefinitely suspended all proceedings that require in-person interaction, including depositions. However, any matters that do not require such interaction will continue to move forward to the greatest extent possible.
A federal multidistrict litigation established for lawsuits stemming from recent Zantac recalls also postponed an Initial Conference that was scheduled for March 13th. While the Court has yet to reschedule the conference, Zantac lawsuits are also moving forward to the extent possible. Among other things, the Court agreed to allow future plaintiffs to file their claims directly in the multidistrict litigation.