Strattice Hernia Mesh Lawsuit To Be Prepared For First Trial in New Jersey State Court in Jan. 2024

The first Strattice hernia mesh trial will be selected from a pool of six cases chosen by parties, and will follow a Science Day in summer 2023, which will educate the court about issues in the hernia mesh lawsuits

With dozens of Strattice hernia mesh lawsuits being filed in New Jersey state court, where the manufacturer’s U.S. headquarters are located, the state court judge presiding over the litigation has ordered parties to prepare a case for trial by January 2024.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed throughout the state, the cases have been centralized before New Jersey Superior Court Judge John C. Porto in Atlantic County, for coordinated discovery and management.

Each of the lawsuits involve plaintiffs who suffered painful and debilitating injuries after receiving a LifeCell Strattice biologic patch during hernia repair, which are constructed from pig skin and preserved in a phosphate buffered aqueous solution. Known as a cross-linked graft device, the Strattice tissue matrix is designed to chemically link the proteins in the tissue together. However, cross-linking has been linked to a risk of foreign body response, according to allegations raised in hernia mesh lawsuits brought by individuals who have experienced complications.

Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Did you or a loved one receive a hernia mesh?

Hernia mesh lawsuits are being filed against Bard, Atrium, Covidien and several other hernia mesh manufacturers over mesh failures resulting in injuries and additional surgery.

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The Strattice mesh lawsuits were centralized as part of a multicount litigation (MCL) last year, which is intended to reduce duplicative discovery in separate cases being pursued throughout the New Jersey State Court system and avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges. Following the coordinated pretrial proceedings, Judge Porto has the discretion to return cases to the original county where they were filed, or scheduled Strattice mesh jury trials in his court.

Last month Judge Porto issued a case management order (PDF) setting the first trial for January 29, 2024, which will be used as a “bellwether” to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. Judge Porto indicates that further trials will also be scheduled at regular intervals thereafter.

A group of six representative claims have been selected from all Strattice lawsuits filed in the state for a trial discovery pool, with plaintiffs submitting expert disclosures and reports by March 15, 2023, and Defendant’s expert disclosures and reports due by April 28, 2023. All expert depositions for the trial pool cases are due by June 29, 2023. The first Strattice trial will involve one of those six cases.

Judge Porto has also directed the parties to coordinate and present a “Science Day” between April 2023 and July 2023, which typically involves non-adversarial presentations by expert witnesses or parties, which are intended to educate the court about issues and concepts that will come up during the proceedings. The presentations are not part of the official record in the case, or subject to cross examination.

The information gleaned from the Science Day presentations may guide Judge Porto in any rulings or motions about evidence to be presented in the Strattice mesh bellwether trials, including decisions about what expert witness testimony may be presented to juries.

Strattice Hernia Mesh Problems

Plaintiffs claim the manufacturer knew about problems with the Strattice mesh design since at least 2010, after receiving a number of reports of doctors having to remove failed and infected mesh from patients.

From September 1990 through September 2020 the FDA received at least 450 Medical Device Reports (MDRs) linked to problems with the Strattice mesh. Six of those reports included patient deaths, more than 340 were injury reports, and at least 107 indicated malfunctions of the mesh.

The allegations presented in the litigation are different than those raised in other lawsuits over hernia mesh filed in recent years over products made with polypropylene; a thermoplastic polymer. There are tens of thousands of Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuitsAtrium C-Qur mesh lawsuitsBard hernia patch lawsuits and similar claims alleging that design defects with the polypropylene products resulted in painful and complications. However, the Strattice mesh lawsuits allege that similar problems have been linked to this biologic product.

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