Roughly 3,000 Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Expected in Federal MDL By End of 2019

  • Written by: Austin Kirk

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According to recent court filings, lawyers expect the number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard in the federal court system to hit 3,000 by the end of the year, as individuals who experienced complications following a hernia repair continue to investigate and file claims.

There are currently only a few hundred product liability lawsuits brought in U.S. District Courts nationwide, each involving similar allegations that plaintiffs suffered painful and debilitating complications that were caused by design defects with Bard Ventralex, Bard Perfix, Bard Composix and other polypropylene products sold by the same manufacturer in recent years.

Given similar 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 pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

Following a status conference last week, Judge Sargus issued a pretrial order (PDF) on March 8, which indicates that lawyers representing plaintiffs in the litigation prodict that roughly 3,000 claims will be filed by the end of 2019.

To streamline the process for adding new claims to the Bard hernia mesh MDL, Judge Sargus has previously approved the direct filing of claims, where plaintiffs filed a “long-form” master complaint to standardize the allegations, and which allows each new case to be brought though a “short-form” complaint where the individual plaintiff adopts specific allegations in their claim.

To help the parties gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of their claims, a bellwether process has also been established, where a small group of representative claims will be prepared for a series of early trial dates between May and September 2020.

In a separate case management order (PDF) issued on March 8, Judge Sargus outlined the form procedure and schedule for 12 plaintiffs selected for the bellwether pool to complete Plaintiff Fact Sheets (PFS), which will include case-specific information about their claims and injuries. The information must be submitted by March 25, 2019, and the parties are next scheduled to meet with the court for a conference on April 17, 2019.

Bellwether trials are currently expected to begin on May 8, 2020, July 13, 2020 and September 14, 2020, allowing the parties to gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

Each of the cases raise similar allegations that polypropylene mesh used in Bard hernia repair products was unreasonably defective and dangerous, creating a risk of painful and debilitating complications where the mesh may fail and requires individuals to undergo additional surgery to remove the patch from their body.

While the outcomes of these “test” trials will not be binding on other claims, they may help the parties gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of cases, and facilitate hernia mesh settlements with Bard and other manufacturers, which would avoid the need for hundreds of individual cases to be scheduled for trial over the coming years.

Similar consolidated pretrial proceedings have also been established for Atrium C-Qur lawsuits and Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits, which involve competing hernia repair products that have also been linked to a high rate of failure and problems. The first bellwether trial dates in each of these other MDLs are expected to begin in early 2020.

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  1. Kelly Reply

    I had my first surgery in November of 2016 to put a mesh in for 3 hernias. Within 3 days, I had severe pain that led me to go back to the hospital and I found out all three hernias had come back through the mesh. My surgeon had to cut me up and down my stomach to make sure the mesh revision surgery would hold. That incision had become necrotic, making my life a living hell. That had to be debrided, and a wound vac was put into place. My job didn’t want to be patient enough for my healing time and laid me off, resulting in me losing my insurance in the middle of me having a wound that needed cared for. I lost money from the original surgery that was my deductible. Then again I had to pay another new year’s deductible. Then once my job laid me off, I lost my insurance as well. I had to pay out of pocket again to care (medical supplies) for the huge wound left behind from debridement surgery. I couldn’t get another job. Bc I had a huge wound. I ended up spending all of my savings. Losing my home and car. And within months from my first surgery to put the Bard mesh in, I was homeless, with a huge scar on my stomach. It’s been 3 years later and scar is still there and I have chronic diarhhea and pain. I want to just know why! And answers. I found out the original mesh that was implanted. It was Bard. Why did it only last days?

  2. Ernest Reply

    I threw two hernia repairs back to back 2015 and 2016 went through alot of pain theu6had to cut my stomach up and down on my abdominal area

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