As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold up legal proceedings across the country, hernia mesh lawsuits against C.R. Bard faced another delay as the court pushed the first bellwether trial to late 2020 or January 2021. Currently, Bard faces over 8,000 product liability lawsuits over injuries caused by their allegedly defective polypropylene mesh products.
U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, presiding judge over all federal Bard hernia mesh lawsuits, released a pretrial order July 20 announcing the trial rescheduling. According to the order, the first bellwether trial in the Bard hernia mesh litigation has been rescheduled to January 11, 2020.
These trials were expected to begin in May. However, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the first bellwether trial was rescheduled until September 29, 2020. Now, with the most recent trial order, that date has been pushed again.
Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Over the last few years increasing complaints have been filed against manufacturer C.R. Bard over their polypropylene mesh products. According to claims, individuals who received specific models of Bard’s hernia mesh patch products experienced severe complications, including infections, erosion, pain, and adhesions.
Many of these severe side effects resulted in the need for patients to need another painful surgery to remove the failed hernia mesh patch. Specifically, complaints have been filed against Bard over their polypropylene patches including the Bard Ventralax, Pefix, Ventralight, and 3DMax products.
Plaintiffs filing hernia mesh lawsuits against Bard allege that their mesh products were defective due to design problems with polypropylene. Polypropylene is a manufactured plastic ranging in use from medical devices to furniture. Though polypropylene mesh patches have been used in surgeries since 1958, continued studies have shown these patches can break down inside of the body when it comes into contact with internal organs.
Due to the common questions of fact and law raised in these lawsuits, a federal litigation has been centralized in the Southern District of Ohio for coordinated trial proceedings. Judge Sargus established a bellwether process to address the thousands of complaints, which sets up a series of early trial dates to help parties gauge how juries may respond to evidence and testimony frequently repeated throughout these hernia mesh lawsuits.
Though the outcomes of these trials do not define the outcome of other Bard lawsuits, they may impact whether Bard will reach a hernia patch settlement for the thousands of complaints against them.