C.R. Bard hernia mesh trials scheduled for 2020
Three bellwether trial cases will be selected by the Court by February 14, 2020 and are slated to commence in May, July, and September of 2020. In addition to the suits pending in the federal court system, Bard is also facing several thousand claims in the state court of Rhode Island, where the manufacturer’s headquarters is located.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which oversees the more than 4,000 cases pending against hernia mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard in the federal court system, has put together an aggressive schedule for the litigation as it seeks a timely resolution.
The lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL (multidistrict litigation) in August, 2018 to more effectively and feasibly address the continuously growing number of suits filed against Bard. An MDL is similar to a class action in that it provides for a more efficient handling of similar claims filed by a large number of people, grouping together multiple individual cases and moving them to a single court. This allows for one judge who is familiar with the details affecting all of the cases to oversee the proceedings and move things along at a quicker pace.
As part of the MDL process, six cases were selected for “Bellwether Trial Case” consideration, of which three will be selected by the Court for bellwether trials. A bellwether trial serves as a sort of “test case” to help anticipate the results of future similar cases and with a goal of moving the overall litigation towards resolution. The three bellwether trial cases will be selected by the Court by February 14, 2020 and are slated to commence in May, July, and September of 2020. In addition to the suits pending in the federal court system, Bard is also facing several thousand claims in the state court of Rhode Island, where the manufacturer’s headquarters is located (1).
What’s this all about?
Hernia repairs are one of the most common surgical procedures performed today, with over one million performed in the U.S. each year alone. The use of surgical mesh in hernia repairs has also been on the rise since the 1980s, and research in the area has widely expanded since then. This is due in part to the vast number of post-surgery complications – including infection, mesh rejection, and hernia reoccurrence. “Researchers have focused on the analysis and implementation of a wide range of materials: meshes with different fiber size and porosity, a variety of manufacturing methods, and certainly a variety of surgical and implantation procedures (2).” Over 80% of hernia repairs performed in the U.S. today use mesh products.
There are more than 70 types of meshes available in the market today, constructed from various synthetic materials and animal tissue. Despite dropping rates of reoccurrence, hernia mesh repairs still face adverse effects and post-surgery complications. According to the FDA, some of the most commonly reported adverse events are pain, infection, blockage of the large or small intestine, bleeding, fluid build-up, and hernia reoccurrence (3).
The wave of lawsuits against Bard all raise similar allegations that plaintiffs suffered painful and debilitating complications caused by product design problems and manufacturing defects (4). The products in question include Bard Ventralex, Bard Composix, Bard Perfix, as well as other polypropylene meshes sold in recent years.
Several other manufacturers of hernia mesh products have also been hit with lawsuits from patients with similar claims. Lawsuits against Atrium Medical Corp. and Ethicon Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, have also been consolidated into MDLs. The upcoming bellwether trials against Bard may help gauge the overall strengths and weaknesses of cases against each of these manufacturers as they seek resolution in the form of a settlement or by trial.
We’re here to help
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe side effect after hernia repair surgery, especially if you've had revision or removal surgery, we're here to help. Fill out the intake form here for a free and no-obligation review of your case. We’ll help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the process, and maximize your potential compensation often without ever stepping foot in court. If you do not receive a recovery through a lawsuit or settlement, you don’t owe us anything.