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Ethicon Physiomesh Cases Selected For Bellwether Trials Set To Begin in March, June and Sept. 2021

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
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The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal hernia mesh lawsuits involving Ethicon Physiomesh has released a trial schedule and case management order confirming the first “bellwether” cases will start going before juries in March.

Ethicon Physiomesh was a multi-layered, flexible composite hernia mesh product introduced by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary in 2010. However, the manufacturer removed the product from the market only six years later, amid a large number of complaints involving complications with the hernia mesh, often resulting in the need for additional surgery to remove it from individuals’ bodies.

There are currently more than 3,200 Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system, each involving similar allegations that the manufacturer sold an unreasonably dangerous and defective product, which caused plaintiffs to suffer severe abdominal pain, infection, hernia recurrence, adhesions, perforations, erosion and other injuries associated with failure of the hernia mesh.

Given similar questions of fact and law, the federal cases are centralized for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Richard Story in the Northern District of Georgia, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, where a small group of claims will go before juries as early “test” trials, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the hernia mesh cases.

In an order (PDF) issued on January 6, Judge Story identified four cases that have been worked up for trial, indicating a lawsuit filed by Jim and Diane Crumbley will be the first Ethicon Physiomesh to go before a jury starting March 18, 2021.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, and will be followed by a second trial set to begin on June 7, 2021, involving a lawsuit filed by Danielle Guffey. The final two cases will go before a jury together starting on September 13, 2021, as a consolidated trial, which is expected to last three to four weeks.

While the outcomes of these early “test” trials will not be binding on other plaintiffs, they will be closely watched by lawyers involved in the litigation, and are likely to greatly influence any hernia mesh settlements Ethicon may offer to avoid the need for thousands of individual claims to go before juries nationwide in the coming years.

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2 comments

  1. Sandy Reply

    With Covid I understood the courts rescheduled the 1st bellwether case that was supposed to happen at the beginning of 2020, then the end of 2020, then was supposed to happen on January 25th 2021. The problem is prior to Covid The MDL cases had already been rescheduled 2-3 times. WHY,, YET AGAIN have these bellwether trials been rescheduled!??? Courts all over the Country are finding ways to conduct trials, MDL cases are supposed to speed up the process of thousands of cases. Why does our Judicial system continue to allow these Large corporations to abuse their power due to the amount of money they have ,,, they just try to delay these cases for years and years. Meanwhile the people who have gravely suffered ,, due to the negligence of said companies ,, are just waiting!! For what?? Everything I’ve read said the bellwether cases were already chosen over 18 months ago and yet again recently the 1st case was scheduled for Jan 25th 2021 ,,, here we are with it being rescheduled yet again. Some people have never been able to return to work, have become more severely disabled, passed away , yet nothing is still happening for these folks. I find it completely insane that MDL cases were established to help the plaintiffs in these cases by speeding up the process,,, . It just really is so frustrating when there are absolutely no explanation to plaintiffs in these cases,, Simply another notice online with yet again another date. It’s really sad and rediculous that this is how our system works ( or doesn’t)!! Everyone knows that even after these bellwether cases Are finally heard, if that does ever happen,,, that the Defendants, Again with billions and billions of dollars will just continue to play the system by appealing any decision that may not go there way for yet many more years to come. I guess by the time they are finally finished after paying there attorneys more money that they probably could have settled thousands of cases. Instead of paying the attorney pay the suffering people..

  2. Brad Reply

    It is a shame, yet it is time for us too go on television and do something. The judges must be getting paid on the side. They are ridiculas and pitiful, however criminals in robes are criminals in robes. It is odvious that they work together. They are wrong and we all know it. They have perverted minds and God will deal with them. They are too work for us not the criminals. It is time too protest. There is no excuse. No, not one. You judges are bums and you are the scum of the earth. The judges are being paid. That is the bottom line. Crooks!!!!!!

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