Covidien Hernia Mesh Complaint Files To Be Turned Over From “Voluminous Collection” Held By Manufacturer

The order comes as hernia mesh lawyers continue to prepare a group of six Covidien lawsuits for early bellwether trials, which are expected to begin in 2025.

The U.S. District judge presiding over all hernia mesh lawsuits filed over complications associated with Covidien products has ordered the manufacturer to turn over a large amount of complaint files, which are expected to outline problems experienced by individuals nationwide after receiving different hernia repair products sold over the past decade.

Covidien currently faces about 900 product liability lawsuits in the federal court system, as well as hundreds of additional claims pending in Massachusetts state court, each raising similar allegations that painful and debilitating complications were caused be a defective design used with certain polypropylene mesh products, including Covidien Parietex, Covidien Symbotex and others.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, the federal litigation has been centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris in the District Judge in Massachusetts, as part of a Covidien mesh MDL (multidistrict litigation), where the parties are currently engaged in discovery and preparing a small group of representative claims for early trial dates to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.

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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Cases reviewed for problems with several types of hernia repair products.

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In a stipulated order (PDF) issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelly on February 20, the manufacturer was directed to turn over “a voluminous collection” of hernia mesh complaint files without redacting them, “to expedite production”.

The order restricts plaintiffs from using any personal information or identification revealed in the complaint files, unless they can show good cause and gain the approval of the court or the consent of the defendants, but the order will allow the litigation to move forward and keep the early bellwether trials on track to begin early next year.

Covidien Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Bellwether Trials

Six cases are currently being prepared for trial as part of the initial bellwether trial pool, and Judge Saris previously directed the parties to each identify one case from the bellwether pool by September 15, 2024, which will result in two cases being fully prepared to go before juries.

An October 14, 2024 deadline was established for filing dispositive or Daubert motions, with a November 22, 2024 deadline for responses to those motions, and the court indicated that the order of trial cases will be established in January 2025.

Last month, plaintiffs announced that one of the original six cases will have to be replaced, and announced a substitute bellwether selection (PDF), which called for the plaintiff fact sheet for that case to be turned over earlier this month, with a Defendant fact sheet due by March 18, 2024 and the completion of case-specific fact discovery in that one new claim by June 7.

While the outcomes of the Covidien hernia mesh bellwether trials will not be binding on other plaintiffs, they may help determine the average hernia mesh lawsuit payouts that Covidien would be required to pay if each case goes to trial nationwide.

If the parties fail to resolve the claims during the MDL proceedings, Judge Saris may later remand each individual case to the U.S. District Court where it originated for a future trial date.

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