Information About Covidien Hernia Mesh Problems, Design Features To Be Presented at Science Day

Both sides will have two hours to present pertinent scientific and medical information on the Covidien hernia mesh, plaintiffs' injuries, and other key data likely to be important throughout the litigation.

As a growing number of hernia mesh lawsuits continue to be filed over alleged design defects with certain Covidien products, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation will hold a “Science Day” next week to allow the parties to make educational presentations to the Court about complex topics that will come up during the litigation.

Medtronic and its Covidien subsidiary currently face more than 440 product liability lawsuits brought in the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that plaintiffs experienced painful complications after receiving defective polypropylene hernia mesh products sold in recent years, including the Covidien Parietex, Covidien Symbotex and others.

Plaintiffs allege that a defective mesh design caused them to experience severe abdominal pain, infections, organ perforations, erosion and other problems, often resulting in the need for a risky hernia revision surgery to remove the Covidien mesh from their bodies.

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Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

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

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Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to centralize the Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits in June 2022, transferring all cases to U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris in the District Judge in Massachusetts, for coordinated discovery and a series of early trial dates.

As part of the management of the litigation, Judge Saris has put a plan in place to establish a “bellwether” process, where a small group of representative claims will go through a case-specific discovery process and be prepared for early test trials. However, first the court indicates that it will hold a “Science Day”, so that each party’s expert witnesses can make presentations regarding the products at issue in the cases, and the science relevant to the lawsuits.

Covidien Hernia Mesh Science Day Scheduled

In a case management order (PDF) issued last month, Judge Saris announced that the Covidien hernia mesh Science Day would be held on June 14, and a text-only order posted to the docket last week clarified that the hearing will start at 2:30 P.M.

Such proceedings typically involve non-adversarial presentations by expert witnesses or parties, which are intended to educate the court about issues and concepts which will come up during the proceedings. The presentations are not part of the official record in the case, or subject to cross examination. However, information presented may guide the Court in any future rulings or motions about evidence to be presented in the Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits, including decisions about which expert witness testimony may be presented to juries.

According to Judge Saris’ order, presenters are allowed to discus hernia and hernia repair surgery, the hernia mesh products at issue, regulatory background information, design features of the Covidien hernia mesh, what injuries plaintiffs are claiming, and key medical and scientific terminology which will be used throughout the proceedings.

Both sides will have two hours to conduct their presentation and answer questions from the Court.

June 2023 Covidien Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Update

In addition to lawsuits pending in the federal MDL, several thousand Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in state courts, each raising similar allegations that the designs were defective and resulted in painful complications. Most of the U.S. litigation is currently pending in the state court system of Massachusetts, where Covidien’s U.S. headquarters are located.

After coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, it is expected that a small group of “bellwether” claims 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 outcome of these early trials will not have any binding impact on other plaintiffs, they may influence the average hernia mesh settlement amounts Covidien may offer to resolve each individual claim being set for separate trial dates.

At least three other hernia mesh MDLs were previously established for claims involving other polyethylene products sold by different companies, with more than 15,400 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits centralized in the Southern District of Ohio, another 3,600 Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits centralized in the Northern District of Georgia and 3,251 Atrium C-Qur lawsuits centralized in the District of New Hampshire. Many of those claims settled before the first claims ever went before a jury.

1 Comments

  • ElizabethJune 11, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    I live in South Africa can I be added. If not who in SA will be filing a similar suit.

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