Bard Hernia Mesh Trial Pushed to April 2021 Due to COVID-19 Delays
With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc throughout the judicial system, many litigations have found it necessary to readjust their trial schedules to accommodate COVID-19 delays. The Bard Hernia Mesh Multidistrict Litigation is among the many who have encountered such setbacks.
A new case management order indicates the first bellwether trial in the Bard Hernia Mesh injury litigation is to begin April 19, 2021, four months after the originally scheduled date. This trial is one of many in a series of bellwether trials meant to gauge juries’ reaction to testimony brought forward by individuals who claim they were injured by C.R. Bard hernia mesh implants.
C.R. Bard currently faces over 8.000 product liability lawsuits in the federal court system over claims that their hernia mesh devices caused mass suffering. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits indicate the medical manufacturer’s hernia mesh implants caused serious complications, naming specific Bard mesh products like the Bard Ventralight, Perfix, 3DMax, and Ventralex mesh systems, among others.
According to claims, Bard’s polypropylene mesh products contain design problems that cause them to buckle and erode in patients. These design flaws caused patients to experience severe side effects, including infections, abdominal pain, adhesions, erosion, and other complications that resulted in the need for revision surgery to remove the failed mesh product.
Given the common questions of fact and law raised in these claims, the litigation has been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Ohio. U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus presides over these cases, coordinating discovery in preparation for a series of bellwether trials. These early trial dates are meant to help both parties understand how juries may react to certain evidence and testimony repeated throughout these Bard hernia mesh claims.
These bellwether trials were originally expected to begin in May 2020. However, the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed these trials to April 2021, nearly a year later.
Judge Sargus announced the delay on November 23 in a case management order, indicating the claims brought by Plaintiff Steven Johns will be tried on Monday, April 19, 2021. Johns claims he encountered complications with his Bard Ventralight ST mesh, a type of polypropylene patch mentioned in a number of other lawsuits pending in the Bard litigation.
To reduce exposure risks, Judge Sargus urges both parties to use technology whenever possible during the trial process.
“The Court strongly encourages the parties to utilize the electronic courtroom technology for presentation of evidence,” he stated in the case management order. “The parties shall report to the Court, by joint submission, on or before the date of the first pretrial conference, their intent to use the technology.”