On April 17, 2019, Judge Sargus, who is overseeing the Bard Hernia Mesh MDL in the Southern District of Ohio, held a Case Management Conference. At the time of the conference, the Court noted that there were just over 1,700 cases filed in the MDL, with approximately 80-100 new cases being filed each week. The parties advised that the protocol and schedule for conducting various depositions were still being discussed, including the depositions of the treating physicians, corporate designees, and company witnesses. Paper discovery from defendants is also still being produced and reviewed by Plaintiffs’ leadership. Another conference is scheduled for early June.
This April conference comes less than a month after Judge Sargus issued Case Management Order No. 15 in which he approved the Bellwether Discovery Pool Plaintiffs. As previously mentioned, the bellwether process allows for an efficient and streamlined judicial approach to potentially resolving many cases that involve common questions or similar sets of facts. As part of the bellwether selection process in the Bard MDL, each party proposed six cases, for a total of twelve cases. Once Core Discovery is completed on the twelve cases selected, each party will then select three cases for trial consideration, for a total of six cases. The Court will then select three cases for bellwether trials by February 14, 2020.
The first bellwether trial in the MDL is currently scheduled to begin on or about May 8, 2020; the second trial will begin on or about July 13, 2020; and the third bellwether trial will begin on or about September 14, 2020. Meanwhile, trials are also being prepared in the Bard hernia mesh state litigation, which is venued in Rhode Island. Multiple trials are currently scheduled to begin in Rhode Island between July 2019 and April 2020.