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A recently filed product liability lawsuit claims that Covidien ProGrip mesh is defective and unreasonably dangerous, causing an Alabama woman to suffer severe pain following a hernia repair, and leading to the need for corrective surgery to remove the failed mesh.
The complaint (PDF) was filed last month by Nancy Gregory and her husband, Francis, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, joining a growing number of similar claims filed against Medtronic and its Covidien unit, over problems associated with certain hernia mesh products sold in recent years.
Gregory indicates that she underwent right inguinal hernia repair in October 2018, at which time she was implanted with Covidien ProGrip mesh. However, after receiving the mesh, she began suffering complications that she claims were a direct result of the design of the hernia repair patch.
“Defendants advertised, promoted, marketed, sold and distributed the ProGrip mesh product as a safe medical device when Defendants knew or should have known that the ProGrip mesh was not safe for its intended purposes and that the mesh product could cause serious medical problems,” according to the lawsuit, which outlines a series of problems reported to the manufacturer in the years before Gregory’s hernia repair, claiming that the risks were not adequately disclosed to consumers or the medical community.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) rejected a request to centralize Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits, like the one filed by Gregory, before one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Although there were at least 12 similar claims filed by individuals who received Covidien Parietex, ProGrip and other related products manufactured by the Medtronic subsidiary, the panel of judges determined in August 2020 that the cases will proceed individually, without centralized discovery.
The decision stood in contrast to how the U.S. JPML has handled hernia mesh cases filed against other manufacturers, with at least three separate federal multidistrict litigations (MDLs) established for claims over other products, including Bard polypropylene mesh lawsuits, Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits and Atrium C-Qur mesh lawsuits.
Together, those other proceedings involve about 15,000 claims. If the number of Covidien mesh claims filed throughout the federal court system continues to increase, it is possible the U.S. JPML may re-evaluate the decision and later determine to consolidate the lawsuit filed by Gregory with other similar claims against Covidien, to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the judicial system.