Federal Judge Denies C.R. Bard’s Pre-verdict Motion

  • Federal Judge Denies C.R. Bard’s Pre-verdict Motion

A federal judge has denied C.R. Bard’s pre-verdict motion in the hernia mesh lawsuit, considering the evidence provided by the plaintiffs that highlight the dangers of the product to the patients.

The plaintiff of the first Bard hernia mesh bellwether trial alleges that he experienced adhesions and other health problems after he was implanted with a Bard Ventralight ST mesh. He even claimed that he suffered from painful complications and underwent additional surgery to get the product removed from the body.

Bard filed a motion to dismiss the case after sighting the conclusion of the plaintiff's case. On September 2, the court rejected the motion and ordered to continue the trial.

The claims against the company raise similar allegations that the manufacturer sold dangerous and defective polypropylene hernia repair products namely Bard Ventralight, Bard 3DMax, Bard Perfix, Bard Ventralex and other mesh systems. These products are defective and need additional surgery among the patients to get them removed as per the plaintiffs' claims.

Judge Sargus has scheduled a series of early “bellwether” trials, which began last month. These trials will help the parties to monitor the evidence and testimony in the lawsuits that will facilitate potential hernia mesh settlements.

All the hernia mesh lawsuits are centralized before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. in the Southern District of Ohio, where the company faces more than 8,000 product liability lawsuits.

Earlier, U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, overseeing the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) over all hernia mesh lawsuits filed against C.R. Bard, denied the manufacturer's motion for summary judgment in the first bellwether case to completely exclude the plaintiff’s expert witnesses from testifying at trial and to avoid the jury from considering punitive damages in cases involving problems with the Ventralight ST product.

Judge Sargus issued two motions on September 1, denying most of the attempts made by Bard and clearing the way for the case to go for a trial, which is set to begin in January 2021.

According to an evidentiary motions order, the attempt to exclude the plaintiff’s expert witnesses was rejected after determining that most of the expert opinions were based on sufficiently sound science for the jury to consider.

In a separate dispositive motions order, the attempt to prevent punitive damages was rejected, and the plaintiffs were allowed to pursue claims, including those related to design defects, failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of implied and express warranty. However, the manufacturer was granted motions for summary judgment over manufacturing defect claims and allegations under the Consumer Sales 

Practices Act, and Judge Sargus also noted that claims related to a subsequent recurrent hernia, and resulting injuries and treatment, could not be pursued.

The lawsuit that will first go before a jury alleges that the plaintiff experienced complications with Bard Ventralight ST mesh, a type of polypropylene patch involved largely in other claims pending in the litigation. The trial, which was originally scheduled to begin in May 2020, has been pushed back from September 2020 to January 2021 due to the interruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

Currently, C.R. Bard faces more than 8,000 product liability lawsuits over hernia mesh products, which include Bard’s Ventralex, Ventralight, Perfix, 3DMax, and other patch designs. Bard hernia mesh claims are consolidated under federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2846 in the Southern District of Ohio, presided by Honorable Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., and Honorable Kimberly A. Jolson.

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