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Judge Says CR Bard Likely to Face More Than 10,000 Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

The US District Judge who oversees the multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerning the Bard hernia mesh lawsuits thinks that the number of lawsuits against the medical device manufacturer is likely to exceed 10,000 before the first bellwether trial starts in January 2021.

C.R. Bard currently faces more than 8,000 product liability claims filed throughout the federal court system, each involving similar claims that defective polypropylene mesh products were sold in recent years, including Bard Ventralex, Bard Ventralight, Bard Perfix, Bard 3DMax and other hernia patch products.

Plaintiffs allege design problems caused them to experience severe abdominal pain, infections, adhesions, erosion and other complications, often resulting in the need for additional surgery to remove the failed hernia mesh.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, the federal litigation has been centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio, for coordinated discovery and a series of early trial dates designed to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.

According to Drug Watch, ” Hernia mesh complications include adhesion, bowel obstruction or perforation, infection, rejection and migration. After hernia mesh surgery, patients have reported symptoms of pain, mesh failure and hernia recurrence. Problems with hernia mesh can occur immediately after the surgery or years later.”

It has been estimated that more than 80% of hernia repair surgeries use mesh products. The mesh utilized in these surgeries is sought to be durable enough to prevent a recurrence, efficiently incorporate into the body, flexible, resist infection, and maintain or restore natural functions of the abdominal wall and respiratory movements. Not all meshes produced by companies have achieved these goals, though, and have even caused various defects.

The January 2021 bellwether trial may provide an indication as to how hernia mesh litigation will transpire in the future. 

Not all hernia mesh cases have to go to trial, though. The law firm of Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP takes a broad approach to claim resolution to best suit each client’s unique needs. This can be achieved through mediation, for example, during which a neutral third-party can help both the plaintiff and the defendant reach a settlement amount.

It is up to the plaintiff to accept or deny the proposed amount. If the plaintiff decides to accept the amount, the case is closed, leaving out a great deal of time and trial expenses. If the plaintiff denies the proposed amount, then the case will move forward to trial. Keep in mind that settlement amounts will vary on a case-to-case basis, as every individual case is different.

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