Covidien Hernia Mesh Lawyers Seek Leadership Roles in Federal MDL

If appointed, the lawyers would take actions that benefit all plaintiffs pursuing Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits throughout the federal court system

A plan proposed by a group of Covidien hernia mesh lawyers seeks to appoint 10 plaintiffs’ attorneys to leadership positions in the growing litigation, which would allow them to take certain actions during discovery and pretrial proceedings that benefit each plaintiff.

There are about 600 hernia mesh lawsuits filed against Medtronic and it’s Covidien subsidiary in U.S. District Courts nationwide, each raising similar allegations that painful and debilitating complications were caused be a defective design used for certain polypropylene mesh products sold in recent years, including Covidien Parietex, Covidien Symbotex and others.

However, as hernia mesh lawyers continue to review and file claims over the coming months, the size of the litigation is expected to increase rapidly. Therefore, all claims filed throughout the federal court system have 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).

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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

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

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In September 2022, Judge Saris appointed two attorneys to serve as an Interim Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and one to serve as the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee Liaison Counsel. The interim Covidien hernia mesh lawyers were charged with providing temporary plaintiff leadership, as well as coming up with a proposal for the structure of more permanent leadership roles for Covidien hernia mesh lawyers.

Those attorneys submitted in a proposed case management order (PDF) on August 10, presenting a plan to appoint two lawyers to serve as Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel, one attorney as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, two attorneys to serve as the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, and five attorneys to serve on a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

The plan was submitted at a status conference held on August 10, during which parties undated plans for bellwether discovery cases and the coordination of corporate witness depositions. Judge Saris has called on the parties to file a joint statement with proposed case deadlines by September 8.

Judge Saris has indicated she is taking the plaintiffs’ leadership plan under consideration. If approved, these lawyers will take certain actions during the pretrial proceedings that benefit all plaintiffs presenting claims, including arguing motions, taking depositions of common witnesses, reviewing discovery documents and other actions. However, each individual pursuing a claim will still retain their own lawyer to establish that their specific injury was caused by the Covidien mesh and negotiate a settlement of their case.

August 2023 Covidien Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Update

To help facilitate potential Covidien mesh settlement negotiations or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Saris is currently in the process of establishing a “bellwether” process, where a group of representative cases will be prepared for early trial dates to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

While the outcomes of these 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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