Rhode Island Jury Hears Closings In First Hernia Mesh Trial

A Rhode Island jury heard closing arguments in the first state court trial involving allegedly faulty hernia mesh implants.

The trial, which started in late July, centers on allegations that the defendant, Davol Inc., a unit of CR Bard, utilized polypropylene resin in its Ventralex-brand hernia mesh implant even though it knew the substance may harm human tissue.

In the hernia mesh lawsuits, the plaintiffs claim that the implants have plagued them with adverse effects ranging from nerve damage to chronic pain and infections. They also claim that manufacturers like Davol and Bard supplied the devices despite being aware of the risk they posed to patients.

The claims are denied by Davol and Bard, who maintain that other procedures and medical conditions are to blame for the plaintiff's alleged injuries and that hernia mesh helps many patients avoid difficulties.

The plaintiff's lawyer explained to the jury how the plaintiff got a hernia at the place where he had significant abdominal surgery in the early 1990s. A Ventralex patch was implanted by doctors in 2008, but it had to be removed a few years later because it reportedly caused damage that made the plaintiff need to have his bowels removed.

The Ventralex patch's outer ring has the potential to fold and contract, leading to internal damage that frequently necessitates additional surgery to have it removed, the plaintiff's attorney told the jury.

He implied that Bard was aware of the harm the patch posed to patients and that subsequent clinical data supports that assertion. He went on to say that this technology had caused serious injuries to 4,000 people in only the last three years. One in four, or 25%, of those who had this device implanted required additional surgery to have it removed.

The lawyer for Bard charged the plaintiff team with cherry-picking anecdotal Ventralex findings while ignoring the vast majority of people who take medicine without experiencing any negative side effects. It is still available right now. It was approved by the FDA. It's never been put away.

The defense lawyer contended that the plaintiff's allegation of failure to warn did not succeed because he purportedly got in-depth information regarding the potential risks of hernia surgery from his attending physicians.

He explained to the jury the plaintiff's complicated medical history, including the numerous surgeries required to repair his initial abdominal injury and subsequent hernias, and how those procedures caused the plaintiff's ailments rather than the Ventralex patch's placement.

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