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MDL Trials For Kugel Hernia Patch Lawsuits Set for May and July 2011

  • Written by: Staff Writers
  • 8 Comments

The next two trial dates in the federal Kugel hernia patch litigation are scheduled to begin in May and July 2011, marking the third and fourth “bellwether” lawsuits to reach a jury in the MDL (multidistrict litigation). 

The cases, which were brought by Vivian Bruce and Bridget McElhatton, were selected for early trials to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to evidence that will be similar in other Kugel hernia patch lawsuits.

The first bellwether Kugel trial ended in a defense verdict in April 2010, and a second trial resulted in a $1.5 million verdict for the plaintiff in August.

All of the Kugel patch lawsuits involve similar allegations that hernia repair mesh manufactured by C.R. Bard and their Davol, Inc. subsidiary were defective and caused severe internal injuries when they failed.

There are currently about 1,300 lawsuits over Kugel hernia patch products pending in the federal court system, where they are consolidated as part of an MDL before Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. In addition, another 1,700 lawsuits are centralized in Rhode Island state court under Presiding Justice Alice B. Gibney.

The Kugel patch lawsuit brought by Vivian Bruce, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is scheduled for trial to begin in May 2011. Bruce had a Composix Kugel Patch inserted in April 2005, and her complaint alleges that it failed in the summer of 2007. As a result, Bruce suffered an abdominal abscess when the patch detached from its position, causing a fistula. The damage caused her to suffer a severe infection.

The case brought by Bridget McElhatton, of Wisconsin, is scheduled for trial to begin in July 2011. McElhatton had a Kugel Patch inserted in July 2006 to treat a hernia, and alleges that she suffered an abdominal wall abscess in 2008, which later ruptured. According to the complaint, doctors found that the ring of her Kugel patch broke and perforated her bowel.

Bellwether cases are selected to help the parties judge the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, and to promote a possible Kugel hernia patch settlement or other resolution for the litigation. Although the first bellwether jury verdict came down in favor of hernia patch makers, the jury did find that Davol and Bard were negligent in the design of their Composix Kugel patch. However, that plaintiff was not awarded any damages for his hernia repair problems, because the jury determined that he did not establish that the injuries were directly caused by or contributed by the design problems.

UPDATE 1/3/2010: The original version of this post indicated that the trial in the Vivian Bruce case was scheduled to begin in April 2011. Pursuant to an amended pretrial order issued December 29, the Bruce trial is now scheduled to commence in May 2011.

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8 comments

  1. Tony Reply

    So 2 trials in over 3 years, 3k cases pending, my case will get to trial in 2,000+ years from now? Who is running this show, the defendants? Has the defendant paid off the judge or just the lawyers appointed to prosecute the cases? I smell a rat. Can we get the FBI to investigate this situation? Oh wait , now i understand — THE CASE IS IN PROVIDENCE, RI – CAPICHE?

  2. Steve Reply

    It would be nice if there were a page on Facebook, where those interested in these cases could go and talk to one another. I hate being in the dark about the Kugel Patch cases. My Attorney tells me very little. What I do find out is mostly thru Motley Rice LLC, and Projo.com.

  3. Fed Up Reply

    Everyone needs to start calling the judges and courthouse in RI , as well as your local media , TV stations , and everyone else you can think of many times a day . The RI courts are only going to try 20 cases a year , Great !!!!! There are well over 3000 cases , we should be done in 150 plus years .
    Go to work people and post all info you can

    We need to start putting pressure on the leaders of Davol / CR Bard

  4. Rick Reply

    I had my Hernia Surgery in 2004. I have had a lawsuit from the damage since 2007. It was my understanding that Rhode Island Federal District Court Judge Mary Lisi was going to bring the parties together for a settlement. What I am wondering is if she is going to do this in my lifetime.

  5. J P Reply

    Well I keep getting the run around as well from my lawyers too- leading me to believe a settlement to be reached in the trial during January 2011……this almost killed me- wheres the facebook blog?

  6. douglas Reply

    I HAD MY FIRST HERNIA SURGERY IN 2002;STARTED HAVING PROBLEMS IN 2008.HAD 2ND SURGERY IN 2009.WAS HAVING BAD STOMACH CRAMPS ,BURNING,DIAREIA,LOW GRADE FEVER AND TENDERNESS AT THE IMPLANT SITE.I HAVE A LAW FIRM WORKING ON MY CASE?????? SO THEY SAY.I FEEL LIKE I AM GETTING THE RUN AROUND ALSO.I AM DISABLED;WITH OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS.ADD THIS ON TOP OF ALL MY OTHER PROBLEMS;IT IS VERY FRUSTRATING.WHAT THE HELL IS GOING #%@^$!”#&??????? .I THINK WE ARE GOING TO GET SCREWED

  7. David Reply

    I had a hernia repair twice on the same side.The first time they didnt use a mesh patch,but the last time they did.Im experiencing soreness again as Im writting this to you.If there is any information on active lawsuits Ill let you know more about myself

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