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Hernia Patch Makers Appeal Decision in Composix Kugel Lawsuit

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C.R. Bard has filed an appeal of the $1.5 million verdict returned by a Rhode Island jury in a Kugel hernia patch lawsuit, after the trial judge refused to overturn the decision or allow a new trial. 

The medical device company claims that the expert witnesses used by Christopher and Laura Thorpe did not provide legally acceptable evidence linking the Composix Kugel patch with Christopher Thorpe’s injuries.

Thorpe and his wife, from North Carolina, filed a lawsuit against C.R. Bard and their Davol subsidiary claiming that a defective design caused their Composix Kugel patch to break inside of him, causing internal injuries and a sepsis infection.

The month-long trial ended in late August, with the jury siding with the Thorpes’ and awarding them $1.5 million in damages. The jury ruled that C.R. Bard and Davol designed a defective device and failed to give proper warning about the risk of Kugel hernia patch problems.

C.R. Bard filed notice of the appeal last week, taking their argument to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

The case was the second Kugel hernia lawsuit to go to trial in federal court, where more than 1,300 other lawsuits are currently pending as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. There are also another 1,700 Composix Kugel patch lawsuits pending in Rhode Island Superior Court, which have been centralized before Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney.

Thorpe’s case was selected for an early trial in the federal MDL, known as a “bellwether” case, to help the parties get a sense of how juries will respond to evidence that may be similar to what will be presented in other cases. The results of the bellwether trials may lead to the settlement of Kugel hernia patch lawsuits over broken rings in other cases.

The first Kugel bellwether trial, which involved a case brought by John Whittfield, ended in a defense verdict last April. While the jury in that case found that Davol and Bard were negligent in the design of the Composix Kugel patch, they indicated that the plaintiff did not provide that his hernia repair problems were directly caused by or contributed by the negligent design.

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2 comments

  1. Julia Reply

    It is about time things were brought to the affected patience omething has be done now. I had a hernia surery on March 8th, 2011. I have needed to have this medical issue for along time. I spoke with some attornes and they tell you all the humps to jump on your case. Then here comes to me a denying to represent my since original heria was performed 08/24/2004. This attorney was saying something like statue showing Florida could on retro back 4 years., the futher I read I knew I needed to included in lawsuit.

    The surgeon that performed the hernia repair on 03/08/2011. their are a number Items on the operative report that I am only going to give once Attorney disided to take case then I will provide the complete medical issue to the 1 signed attorney and his own personal attentent

  2. Patti Reply

    I contacted an attorney this morning and was told i had to have the surgery before anything could be done, the kugel was used on me in 2005 and i am now having issues…i dont know where to start, i called the dr. that did my surgery and was told it would be treated just as if i was just having a hernia repair…in other words…will have to pay for everything (no health insurance) have any advice?

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