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Hernia Mesh Litigation Consolidation Strategies

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

Hernia mesh suits are multiplying as the serious injuries and complications pile uo from defective meshes. Significant jury verdicts and settlements from the recalled Bard Davol Kugel Composix mesh in 2011 ended litigation started in 2007.  From that experience and other mesh litigations, judges and courts have created models for consolidating hernia mesh cases in the current litigations. Judges will always consider fostering early settlement by appointing mediators.

Plaintiffs Working Together to Fight Hernia Mesh Manufacturers

The key questions to companies like Bard, Covidien and Ethicon will be:

  • What did they know?
  • When did they know it?
  • What did they do with the knowledge when they knew it?

Firms like us like to work with firms we respect where everyone “grabs an oar” on behalf of our clients. The battle occurs on many levels. This is some of the work our firms do:

  • Depositions of the Company Representatives: Judges order depositions of “Most Knowledgeable Persons.” These are usually of a preliminary nature but provide the details of which employees were I na position to know various matters. Or as we like to say, finding out “where the dead bodies are buried.”
  • Document Discovery: Going through millions of corporate documents related to product development, marketing, FDA dealings, Adverse Event Reports and recalls.
  • Experts to Support the Case: Medical, Scientific, Manufacturing, Design, Regulation Experts: Plaintiffs have a heavy burden to prove there were safer and better alternative designs, and that defendants chose to put profits over patients.
  • Picking Bellwether Plaintiffs: Firms jointly go through their clients and pick representative victims who are willing to go through a month-long trial. Hopefully this ends in a big dollar verdict which scares defendants into settlement.
  • Negotiating a Settlement:  It is common for ultras-ecret negotiations to take place behind the scenes. Only a few attorneys from both sides may be part of this. Trials can be won and lost with both sides being on a public war footing.
  • Deciding How Settlements Should Work: How similar are the products? Injuries? Damages? How quickly will a defendant make payments? What are compensable injuries and what will not be included? Usually years of litigation and representative trials help decide these questions
  • “Global” settlements, Individual Settlements, Continued Litigation: Plaintiffs will work together a fair resolution method.

If you have questions on these types of claims, do not hesitate to contact our firm to speak with our award-winning legal team! Free consultations are always available.

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