The U.S. District judge presiding over the Bard hernia mesh multidistrict litigation (MDL) announced the first Bard hernia mesh bellwether trials will begin in May, July, and September 2020. U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus announced the new trial dates in a case management order issued August 19th that amended a prior bellwether trial schedule released August 15th.
“The Court recognizes that all parties and counsel are moving very diligently and professionally in these cases, which now number in excess of 3,500 civil suits,” Judge Sargus said in the court order. “The Court cannot accommodate the proposed changes in trial dates…Other pending cases cannot be scheduled for trial if MDL Bellwether trials are not firmly given certain dates.”
The original August 15th order delayed trial dates until July 13th, September 14th, and November 9th of 2020. According to the August 19th order, the trial dates are set for May 8th, July 13th, and September 14th of 2020. Parties have been invited to propose new dates for other litigation deadlines, but the Court suggests that it will not delay or alter the start of these 2020 trials.
Currently, C.R. Bard faces nearly 4,000 product liability lawsuits in the federal court system for complications with their polypropylene hernia mesh implants. The claims currently pending in the federal court system raise similar allegations that certain brands of Bard hernia mesh implants contained design defects, harming thousands of hernia mesh patients. Allegations assert the polypropylene mesh used in Bard’s hernia mesh products was defective and dangerous, creating the risk of severe complications from mesh failure and the need for painful revision surgeries.
Similar pretrial proceedings are commencing for Atrium C-Qur and Ethicon Phsyiomesh lawsuits, which involve other hernia mesh products on the market linked to complications and mesh failure. While these hernia mesh bellwether trials do not bind the outcome of other hernia mesh claims, they may help parties work towards a hernia mesh settlement with Bard and other hernia mesh manufacturers.