Previously scheduled to occur in May 2020 and July 2020, the first two bellwether jury trials for the U.S. Bard hernia mesh injury lawsuits were rescheduled for July 2020[i] and September of 2020[ii] as a safety precaution in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The decision was announced by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., who presides over the Bard hernia mesh litigation, on March 24.
Bard has been involved in the 2006 Kugel Composix ring break litigation and Bard Vaginal Mesh litigations. There were reported settlements for injured plaintiffs after initial trials[iii]. Based on prior litigations, we would expect settlement considerations with injured victims who had their mesh surgically removed.
C.R. Bard, now branded as Bard and purchased last year by Becton Dickinson, is a medical technology developer specializing in vascular, urology, surgery and oncology devices. In recent years, over 16,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against Bard throughout the federal court system and Rhode Island state court. Plaintiffs claim to have experienced severe complications and follow-up surgeries after undergoing hernia repair procedures that utilized Bard polypropylene mesh products, and raise concerns about these products containing dangerous design defects that harm patients.
Studies have found polypropylene to contract and degrade[iv] over time following contact with patients’ bowels, leading to complications and breakages with the hernia mesh implant. With a mesh failure, the broken mesh and exposed hernia can lead to extreme injuries in patients that may necessitate painful mesh removal procedures.
With the thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits continuing to grow in number, the federal judiciary centralized nearly 5,000 claims, all pertaining to common questions of fact and law, as part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division. A bellwether process, which takes a smaller number of cases from a large group of plaintiffs to see how juries react to certain testimonies and evidence that will appear repeatedly throughout the hernia mesh lawsuits, was established by Judge Sargus. The bellwether process will also help the parties measure the relative strengths and shortcomings of the claims.
In a series of case management orders[v], Judge Sargus announced the new dates for the bellwether jury trials. The first bellwether trial date was pushed to July 13, 2020, with an initial pretrial conference occurring on June 29, and the final pretrial conferences on July 7 and 8. The second bellwether trial was rescheduled to September 29, 2020, with the initial pretrial conference set for September 9, and the final pretrial conferences on September 15 and 16.
If you or a loved one have been affected by hernia mesh and have experienced health issues, please contact Attorney David Rheingold immediately at 888-260-0473 for a free, confidential case evaluation.