Third and Fourth Bard Hernia Mesh MDL Lawsuits Set For Trial in Oct. 2023 and April 2024
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Bard hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the federal MDL (multidistrict litigation) indicates that two more bellwether cases will go to trial October 2023 and April 2024, to help the parties better gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout thousands of claims alleging injuries were caused by design defects.
There are currently more than 18,000 product liability lawsuits against Bard involving hernia mesh complications associated with various different polypropylene products sold in recent years, including Bard Ventralight, Bard Ventralex, Bard 3DMax, Bard PerFix Plug, and other similar systems.
Since each of the claims raise similar questions of fact and law, the lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio, as part of a federal Bard hernia mesh MDL, where the parties have prepared a small group of representative claims for early trial dates. However, following mixed results in the first two bellwether trials, settlement negotiations have stalled and thousands of claimants are still awaiting their day in court.
Following lengthy delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Sargus presided over the first Bard hernia mesh trial in August 2021, which resulted in a defense verdict for Bard. That trial was followed by a second bellwether case in April 2022, which resulted in a $255,000 verdict.
As result, parties involved in the litigation are closely watching two final bellwether trials scheduled to begin in the coming months, which may impact the average hernia mesh settlement amounts the manufacturer offers to avoid thousands of individual cases being returned to U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trials in the coming years.
Third and Fourth Bard Hernia Mesh MDL Bellwether Trials
Judge Sargus issued a case management order (PDF) on August 31, schedulkng the third bellwether trial to begin on October 16, 2023, and a fourth for April 8, 2024.
The third trial involves a Bard PerFix Plug lawsuit filed by Robert Stinson, Jr., and the fourth involves a Bard 3DMax lawsuit brought by Jacob Bryan, which was originally scheduled for trial in January.
The order also includes a requirement that parties resolve issues over the Plaintiffs’ interrogatories within seven days of the order being issued, which would mean by the end of this week. If they are unable to do so they must brief the issue for the Court.
September 2023 Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Update
Although the outcome of early bellwether trials held in the federal MDL will not have any binding impact on other claimants, they are designed to promote settlement negotiations by highlighting the amounts of Bard hernia mesh lawsuit payouts that may be awarded if each claim goes to trial.
If the parties fail to negotiate acceptable average Bard hernia mesh settlements to resolve large numbers of claims following the last two bellwether trials, it is expected that Judge Sargus will consider remanding large numbers of claims back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates nationwide. However, there has been no signal when those remands may begin or how long it would take for those claims be be ready to go before a jury.
In addition claims against Bard, thousands of similar claims have been filed in recent years against manufacturers of other polypropylene mesh products that have resulted in widespread injuries, including thousands of Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits and Atrium C-Qur lawsuits which were centralized in separate MDLs, and lawyers involved in each of those proceedings have reached hernia mesh settlements shortly before scheduled bellwether trials were set to begin.
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