Bard Hernia Mesh Settlements To Be Discussed During Court-Ordered Mediations Between March 4 and May 24, 2024

If lawyers reach an impasse in Bard hernia mesh settlement negotiations by late May, Judge Sargus will then start remanding thousands of cases to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates.

The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Bard hernia mesh lawsuits has ordered lawyers involved in the litigation to participate in a round of mediations that will begin early next month, in hopes of negotiating a global settlement that will resolve large numbers of claims being pursued by individuals nationwide over the next three months.

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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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

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

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No Future Bard Hernia Mesh Bellwether Trials Planned

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.

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, at the beginning of this month, Judge Sargus announced that he would not be holding a fourth Bard hernia mesh bellwether trial, following the results of the first three early test cases, saying that there was no need. He determined that the parties had enough information from the previous trials to negotiate a Bard hernia mesh settlement agreement.

Bard Hernia Mesh Settlement Negotiations Scheduled

In a case management order (PDF) issued on February 16, Judge Sargus announced that in-person negotiations between plaintiffs and defendants will begin on March 4 and 5, with additional meetings to be scheduled at the discretion of a court-appointed mediator, John Jackson. However, members of the Plaintiffs’ Negotiation Committee and representatives of the Defendants only have three months to make progress, or else the court may consider returning large numbers of claims back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates.

“Absent satisfactory resolution of this matter by the parties, or absent agreement of the parties to extend the deadline to allow for continuing discussions, the parties and Mediator shall notify the Court of an impasse by 5:00 P.M. on May 24, 2024,” Judge Sargus ordered. “If the parties have reached an impasse in their mediation efforts, then the parties shall confer on a joint proposal outlining a plan for moving this litigation forward, which will include suggestions for remand.”

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. However, Judge Sargus rejected that motion, saying remand was premature at this time.

Judge Sargus indicated last month that the Court would like to see a three- or four-month period for global Bard hernia mesh settlement negotiations to be explored before setting the stage for active litigation to move forward simultaneously throughout the federal court system. However, according to this latest order, Judge Sargus appears prepared to start remanding claims if sufficient progress toward that goal is not reached by the end of May 2024.

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