Judge To Meet Hernia Mesh MDL's Lawyers For 2023 Trial

The United States District Judge presiding over all federal hernia mesh lawsuits involving Bard products will meet with lawyers involved in the litigation next week as preparations for a third and fourth bellwether trial, which are expected to have a significant impact on ongoing settlement talks to resolve thousands of claims.

Nearly 18,000 product liability lawsuits are currently pending in a Bard hernia mesh MDL (multidistrict litigation) centralised before a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of Ohio, alleging that plaintiffs suffered painful complications as a result of design defects associated with certain polypropylene mesh products sold in recent years, including Bard Ventralex, Bard Ventralight, Bard Perfix, Bard 3DMax, and other systems.

While the parties made some progress last year in negotiating Bard hernia mesh settlements to resolve some state court claims in Rhode Island, after mixed results in the first two federal trials held before the judge, preparations for a third and fourth bellwether trial have resumed, which will be closely watched to provide additional information about how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.

However, as the litigation progresses, Bard hernia mesh lawyers continue to file new lawsuits on behalf of individuals who discover their hernia mesh has failed, and the number of claims pending throughout the federal court system has more than doubled from just over 8,000 claims in June 2021 to 17,954 lawsuits pending, according to a November 2022 update issued by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

Although the outcomes of early bellwether trials are not binding on claims brought by other plaintiffs, Bard hernia mesh lawyers involved in the litigation are keeping a close eye on them.

The results of the first two early trials in the Bard hernia mesh MDL were mixed, with the manufacturer securing a defence verdict in the first trial in August 2021 and being hit with a $255k verdict in the second trial in April 2022. However, two more cases are scheduled to go before juries next year.

One Bard hernia mesh lawsuit in Rhode Island state court resulted in a $4.8 million verdict in August 2022, sending a clear signal to the manufacturer about the extent of liability it may face if settlements are not reached and thousands of individual claims go before juries across the country.

The judge overseeing the MDL outlined the pre-trial schedule leading up to the third bellweather trial, which is scheduled to begin in February 2023, in a case management order issued on November 9.

The trial will begin on February 21, 2023, and will last four weeks, with four trial days in the first and third weeks and five trial days in the second and fourth weeks, according to the order. The order also directs the parties to submit to the court a revised proposed scheduling order for the fourth bellwether trial to reflect date changes and other issues discussed at a case management conference on November 4.

Recent News