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Bard Faces 4 Bellwether Trials as Pressure Mounts to Consider Settlement

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

With more than 8,000 hernia mesh lawsuits already filed and more to come, mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard is facing mounting pressure to consider settling the mesh suits. The federal judge assigned to preside over the multidistrict litigation, U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. in the Southern District of Ohio, has identified four “bellwether” cases which will go before juries, starting with trials scheduled to begin on August 2, 2021 and January 10, 2022.

The MDL (multidistrict litigation) is possible and preferable when there are similar questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, the federal litigation is centralized before a judge, for coordinated discovery and a series of early “bellwether” trials, which are intended to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout large numbers of claims.

The hernia mesh products include Bard Ventralex, Bard Ventralight, Bard Perfix, Bard 3DMax and other mesh systems that each feature similar designs.

Following a series of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Sargus issued an order earlier this year scheduling the first Bard bellwether trial to begin this summer, involving a case alleging problems with Ventralight ST mesh. According to a Pretrial and Trial Schedule (PDF) issued on June 10, the parties will meet for a series of two pretrial conferences on July 19 and July 21, to resolve any objections to deposition designations and exhibits. The trial will then commence on August 2, 2021 at 9am.

In a separate order (PDF) issued on June 10, Judge Sargus also indicated a second bellwether trial will begin on January 10, 2021, involving complications with the Bard Ventralex patch. The Court indicates that the court will outline specific deadlines in advance of that trial over the coming weeks.

Bellwether trials are helpful for both sides since they provide a gauge as to how a jury may respond to the evidence presented at trial. It also may help set parameters for negotiation discussions.

There is still time to take part in these Bard hernia mesh lawsuits but the time is drawing to a close. If you or a loved one have been injured by a Bard hernia mesh product, call Product Liability lawyer David Rheingold at 212-684-1880 or you may email him at [email protected]

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