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According to recent court records, a growing number of hernia patch lawsuits continue to be filed against C.R. Bard over painful and debilitating complications linked to its products, with more than 7,000 claims currently pending throughout the federal court system, and lawyers estimate that the number may hit 10,000 cases by the end of this year.
Each of the claims raise similar allegations that polypropylene mesh products sold in recent years, including Bard Ventralex, Bard Ventralight, Bard Perfix, Bard 3DMax and other hernia patch products, contained dangerous design defects that caused individuals to experience abdominal pain, infections, adhesions, erosion and other problems resulting in the need for removal of failed hernia mesh.
Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, 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 cases.
In a pretrial order (PDF) issued this week, the Court indicates there were at least 7,098 cases filed as of May 18, 2020. However, as hernia mesh lawyers continue to review and file claims in the coming months and years, it is expected that the total number of cases filed may near 9,000 to 10,000 by the end of 2020.
While trials were previously scheduled to begin this month, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the start of the first trial until September 29, 2020, Judge Sargas advised the parties during a case management conference this month that it remains premature to set new trial dates for the second, third and fourth “bellwether” trials selected by the parties.
While the outcomes of these early bellwether trial dates will not be binding on other Bard cases, they are expected to have a substantial impact on any hernia patch settlements that Bard may offer to avoid thousands of individual trials being set for trial nationwide.