Hernia Mesh Lawsuits – Summer 2020 Update

Tens of thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits are coordinated and consolidated in state and federal courts against the largest hernia mesh manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Inc. (Ohio and Rhode Island), Ethicon, Inc. (New Jersey and Georgia) and Atrium Medical Corp. (New Hampshire).

While hernia mesh lawsuits against other manufacturers have not yet been coordinated and consolidated into mass tort lawsuits, many lawsuits have been filed against Covidien, Inc. and W.L. Gore & Associates for injuries caused by their hernia mesh products.

As of July 2020, the status of the consolidated mass tort hernia mesh lawsuits against the major manufacturers is discussed below:

C.R. Bard Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Hernia mesh lawsuits filed in federal court against C.R. Bard were consolidated into MDL (Multi-District Litigation) No. 2846, titled In Re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation. These Bard lawsuits are proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

On May 5, 2020, the court set the first federal Bard hernia mesh lawsuit for trial on September 29, 2020. There is a possibility this trial will be further postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of May 18, 2020, there were 7,098 cases filed in the federal Bard consolidated proceedings.

Because C.R. Bard is headquartered in Rhode Island, many hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in Rhode Island state court. Approximately 8,000 cases are pending against Bard in Rhode Island state court.

Bard’s Ventralex mesh, Perfix plug and Composix Kugel mesh are the hernia mesh products most commonly at issue in these lawsuits. However, cases have been filed for injuries from over 20 Bard hernia mesh products including the 3D Max, Ventrio, Ventralex ST, Ventrio ST, Ventralight ST, Perfix Light Plug, Composix, Bard Mesh, Bard Soft Mesh and Sepramesh IP.

Ethicon Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Like C.R. Bard, thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against Ethicon were consolidated in a federal MDL and in a state court proceeding in New Jersey. Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is based in New Jersey.

Federal lawsuits alleging injuries from Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite Mesh were coordinated and consolidated into MDL 2782 pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, titled In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 1:17-md-02782-RWS.

As of June 29, 2020, there are 2,989 Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuits pending in MDL 2782.

The New Jersey Supreme Court created consolidated proceedings in Atlantic Court for cases alleging injuries from certain Ethicon hernia mesh products, specifically, Physiomesh (Flexible Composite Mesh), Proceed Surgical Mesh and Proceed Ventral Patch Hernia Mesh, and the Prolene Hernia System.

There have been no bellwether trials against Ethicon in either MDL 2782 or the New Jersey state court proceedings. Bellwether trials were scheduled for 2020, but those schedules were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 19, 2020, the federal court in MDL 2782 set the first bellwether trial for November 2, 2020.

Atrium Medical Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Hernia mesh lawsuits alleging injuries from Atrium Medical’s hernia mesh products were consolidated into MDL 2753, titled In Re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation, case no: 16-md-2753 LM.

The Atrium MDL is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. This MDL involves several Atrium hernia mesh products, including the C-Qur line of products, the ProLoop mesh plug and ProLite mesh.

To date, approximately 2,100 cases are pending in MDL 2753. The first bellwether trial was scheduled to begin in Spring 2020 but was continued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covidien Parietex and W.L. Gore Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Covidien, Inc., now a subsidiary of Medtronic, Inc., manufactured several hernia mesh products that are the target of personal injury lawsuits.

Lawsuits alleging injuries from Covidien’s Parietex Mesh, Parietex Composite Mesh/Patch and Parietex ProGrip Mesh have been filed. The Parietex products are unique because they are comprised of polyester (polyethylene) rather than the polypropylene that most hernia mesh products are made of.

Lawsuits have also been filed against W.L Gore for injuries from its Gore-Tex Mesh products.

To date, neither the Covidien nor W.L. Gore cases have been consolidated at either the federal or state court level.

Most Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in Minnesota state courts, where Covidien is headquartered. Currently, there are over 140 state court hernia mesh lawsuits on file.

On July 30, 2020 the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation will hear arguments for and against consolidating the handful of Covidien lawsuits before a single federal court.