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No New Trial for Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Case

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

On February 4, 2011, Judge Mary M. Lisi, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, denied C.R. Bard Inc.’s (Bard) motion for a new trial. C.R. Bard Inc. is a medical device manufacturer, whose Composix© Kugel© surgical mesh patches have been the subject of multidistrict litigation for inadequate warning of risk and faulty product design.

Bard’s motion was in response to a $1.5 million jury verdict for the plaintiff’s Christopher and Laure Thorpe. Mr. Thorpe suffered medical complications and pain and suffering as a result of using the defective patch.

Judge Lisi upheld the jury’s verdict, finding that the award was fair and reasonable. In addition, Judge Lisi denied additional motions from Bard and Davol Inc. (a subsidiary of Bard). Additional motions included a motion to exclude medical expert testimony and a motion for judgment as a matter of law. The judge found that the doctor’s expertise was established and helpful to the jury and respectively, the jury’s finding of inadequate design by the manufacturer was reasonable based on the evidence at trial.

Alternatively, Judge Lisi granted the manufacturer’s motion that the Thorpe’s’ did not prove that the company’s failure to warn was the proximate cause of Mr. Thorpe’s’ injury.

Judge Lisi’s rulings in the Thorpe case were based on reasoning that the plaintiff’s evidence against the medical device manufacturer showing the connection between using the patch and the resulting injuries was scientifically sound. This reasoning could affect other cases against Bard and Davol regarding the defective Kugel mesh hernia patch.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bard and Davol alleging injuries resulting from using the manufacturer’s hernia patch. The next two cases are expected before Judge Lisi in April and July of this year.

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