Portions of Bard 3DMax Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Dismissed in Fourth Bellwether Claim

Last month, the trial date for this fourth bellwether lawsuit was vacated, after the Court determined enough early test cases had gone before juries for the parties to pursue a global Bard hernia mesh settlement.

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Bard hernia mesh lawsuits has dismissed portions of a Bard 3D Max claim, which was once slated to be the fourth early test trial, but allowed critical remaining counts in the complaint to proceed.

The case is one of nearly 21,000 product liability lawsuits being pursued 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 3D Max, Bard Ventralight, Bard Ventralex and others.

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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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

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

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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.

The fourth and final Bard hernia mesh bellwether trial was scheduled to go before a jury in April, involving complications with a Bard 3DMax implanted in Jacob Bryan. However, earlier this month, Judge Sargus vacated the trial date, determining that enough bellwether trials had been held and calling for the parties to begin several months of negotiations in hopes of reaching a Bard hernia mesh settlement agreement.

Bard 3DMax Lawsuit Cleared to Move Forward

When Bryan’s lawsuit was scheduled to be the fourth bellwether trial, the defendants filed a motion asking Judge Sargus to grant summary judgment in their favor. However, on February 1 Judge Sargus issued a court order (PDF) only dismissing portions of the complaint.

The ruling allows Bryan’s Bard 3D Max lawsuit to proceed on his claims for strict liability, negligence, gross negligence, and punitive damages. However, the court dismissed claims of failure to warn, fraud and breach of warranty. Bryan withdrew claims that Bard intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

It is unclear if and when Bryan’s lawsuit will go before a jury, and whether it will be before Judge Sargus in the MDL, or back in the U.S. District Court where it originated.

If the court-ordered Bard hernia mesh settlement negotiations are unsuccessful in the coming months, it is expected that thousands of individual claims may be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide to be prepared for trial, and all pretrial discovery and a number of rulings have already been issued in Bryan’s case.

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