Judge Pushes Global Bard Hernia Settlement Discussions Before Considering Remand, After Cancelling Fourth Bellwether Trial

Final Bard hernia mesh bellwether trial set to begin in April 2024 has been cancelled, as the MDL judge calls for 3-4 months of global settlement negotiations before remanding claims to U.S. District Courts nationwide.

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Bard hernia mesh lawsuits has cancelled the fourth and final bellwether trial, indicating that the parties have had enough cases go before juries to reach a settlement agreement. However, the Court is calling for several months of negotiations before considering any plan to start sending cases back to their originating district for trial.

Nearly 21,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard throughout the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that users suffered painful and debilitating injuries caused by design defects associated with various polypropylene products sold in recent years, including the Bard Ventralight, Bard Ventralex, Bard Perfix Plug, Bard 3DMax, and other similar systems.

Since each of the claims raise similar questions of fact and law, the hernia mesh lawsuits have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio since August 2018, as part of a federal Bard hernia mesh MDL, where the parties have already held three test trials to help determine how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout the claims.

Although the bellwether trials were designed to promote resolution of the litigation, large numbers of Bard hernia mesh settlements have not materialized, and thousands of individuals are still awaiting their day in court.

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Judge Sargus presided over the first Bard hernia mesh trial in August 2021, which resulted in a  defense verdict for Bard. However, a second bellwether trial followed in April 2022, resulting in a $255,000 verdict, and the third resulted in a $500,000 verdict in November 2023.

In August 2022, a state court lawsuit in Rhode Island ended with a $4.8 million verdict over Bard Ventralex mesh problems, which sent a strong signal to the manufacturer about the extent of liability it may face if each of the remaining cases goes before a jury.

Fourth Bard Hernia Mesh Bellwether Trial Vacated

Originally, a fourth and final Bard hernia mesh bellwether trial was scheduled to begin in April 2024, involving a claim filed by Jacob Bryan, of Florida, over complications linked to the Bard 3DMax. However, in a case management order (PDF) issued on February 1, Judge Sargus announced he was vacating the trial date, deeming it unnecessary.

“The Court has spent a total of 56 days in trial and has issued more than 100 opinions on dispositive motions and evidentiary issues in bellwether cases,” he wrote. “The usefulness of another lengthy and expensive trial is dubious at best.”

Judge Sargus indicated he saw very little value in proceeding with the trial, as the parties have and not only the bellwether trials in this litigation to consider, but noted that other juries have returned verdicts in very similar hernia mesh lawsuits in other multidistrict litigations as well

Global Bard Hernia Mesh Settlement Will Be Focus in Coming Months

In December, the Plaintiffs Steering Committee filed a motion calling for the court to start planning the remand of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits back to the U.S. District Courts where they originated for individual trials, also believing that the bellwether trials had run their course.

The plaintiffs argued that the pretrial proceedings in the MDL had been essentially completed, and asked Judge Sargus to identify a group of 1,500 cases, representing approximately 7.5% of all cases filed in the MDL, returning them to U.S. District Courts nationwide so lawyers could begin preparing large numbers of them for trial.

Bard indicated earlier this month that it opposed that motion, calling it premature.

While Judge Sargus agreed that there was no need for further bellwether trials, he also rejected the plaintiffs’ calls for the remand process to begin right away, saying the parties should take more time to negotiate in an effort to reach a global settlement before swamping federal courts with hundreds of hernia mesh trials.

He noted that the Court has mentioned previously that it would like to see a three- or four-month period after the last bellwether trial for negotiations and mediation between the parties in hopes of reaching a settlement.

“As the Court indicated, the goal in this case is to reach a global settlement, and if that cannot be accomplished, to later begin discussing what the remand process would look like,” Judge Sargus wrote. “There has been no discussion between the parties and the Court regarding any plan other than global settlement or potential remand of all remaining cases, let alone discussions of a massive undertaking along the lines of the plan proposed by the PSC.”

With the cancellation of the fourth bellwether trial, the last trial to be held at the federal level was in November 2023. The order did not set forth parameters for specific global hernia mesh settlement negotiations.

1 Comments

  • PamelaFebruary 3, 2024 at 12:43 am

    To hell and back is where I've already been because in 2006 I spent30 days in a hospital because of a hole in my lower intestinal tract this left me with P.T.SD. which I still have flash b back of too this day. With that being dais in 2019 I found out I had a strangulated intestinal hernia under my left beast it aches like I'm having a monogram on that same breasts and can no longer have them beca[Show More]To hell and back is where I've already been because in 2006 I spent30 days in a hospital because of a hole in my lower intestinal tract this left me with P.T.SD. which I still have flash b back of too this day. With that being dais in 2019 I found out I had a strangulated intestinal hernia under my left beast it aches like I'm having a monogram on that same breasts and can no longer have them because of the mesh that a doctor was delighted with as he as me as he put under my 65 year old breast. Most people will laugh out loud but it far from funny to me. Maybe 5 days of climate change in 20 degree weather had something to due with a drug called Prozac because now I think only about what will happen to my husband who's 84 or my cat we had since last October. I have never die before a pet. Now I worry about my husband who 14 years older what's going to happen to them when I'm gone. My tv is advanced technology compare to when my husband and I first met. He's 100%Vet so is his brother and his missing uncle from WW2, my dad was inn the Navy 30 yrs before he retired and I grew up in a poor environment to say the least. Now I have to ask you the jury or judge how do you put a monetary figure on a person who so depressed and in poor health who went through surgery on May 4 of 2023 to have a cyst remove from the bottom tip of my spine.? Well needless to say I have a college degree. With a GPA 2.98 without a high school diploma. So what do I. know right? 6 years. I in a back break in 1964 - 1969. Back then I was a special needs child but my mom took care of me but who will take care of me in the future when I go. A nursing home. No way my mom spent 10 yrs. before she decided that wads to long this wags from a stroke I wasn't by her side which has cause me more grief than I can handle sometimes I pondered this since the last 15 yrs. My mom was great to but I was a hellion a handful of trouble but she love all of us 4 girls equally till she died. Now what can I do take a overdose n to take the pain away from my mind or the pain I have since the after the surgery by falling inside hitting my self in the bathroom door on the right hand left me a triple like tiny Tim and that mean old mean in the Christmas story about a cripple whom the greedy old man won't give his dad the day off.? Hum bug I say. Bard has guaranteed I will live a shores life and in great pain. I spent 4 day at a casino for warmth when it was 20 degrees in what I consider climate change. I watch the weather because I have 2 sisters and a half brother who live back east. I've live in Newport, Oregon for 45 years and I will only go out while I can still care for myself but that time is running out. I only write this a plea to please make them pay what my pain is and will be like. And everyday I tell my that Oregon is a right to die state and both me and my husband voted for this when we voted this in the 1980 because it was duty to every body everywhere to have the right to choose and I have a living will which I reminded my stepson Paul Jr he and his to make sure if Ian gone they take care of their 84 yr old dad as my dying wish to Paul Jr and he said he'd tell his sister but I don't think his dad really grasp that at 69 I've gone from 236lbs to 204lbs at the end of ten month as a couch potatoe. I been one since 1998. My husband treats me like princes who couldn't sleep on a pea. A shot for civic 19 is painful and I look like a junkie bruised and it doesn't just go away it stays for 2 or 3 mts. I see myself starving to death from worry, fear of dying from caring to deeply that I try to drive my husband away by nagging him to death by making with a fowl mouth and I could put a sailor to shame with the filth I say about the truth there you have it. Bard seal my death certificate so I won't be kept in a refrigerator frozen like a slab meat. No not me, creamate me within 24 hours if you can! And make the makers of a defective product and know it for at least a 2010 and all the way back to the 1960s. Make them pay for the misery , sorrow, and heartbreak they are costing me and for the grief for all the other 20,000 people who have sued over this mesh hernia recall. Really 1960 are they that greedy or just plain stupid!!! Folks I could be your mom, sister, aunt, wife, or a daughters who's been caught in crossfried. Make them pay a million bucks to anyone with the proof that I g given to my attorney, my God have mercy on my soul.

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