The primary Bard Hernia Mesh state litigation, pending in Rhode Island state court under Judge Gibney, is now set to begin its first bellwether trials that will focus on claims involving the Ventralex patch product, and proceed to trials involving the Composix E/X product. Not to be outdone, and though only designated in August 2018, the Bard Hernia Mesh Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio under Judge Sargus, is also steaming along. Plaintiffs and Defendants have narrowed down the initial bellwether pool to six cases – three cases chosen by each side. On January 13, 2020, the parties will submit briefing detailing which cases each party believes should go to trial. Based on that briefing, on January 24, 2020, the Court will select three of those cases for the first bellwether trials. After remaining case specific discovery and motion practice, those cases will go to trial on May 11, 2020; July 13, 2020; and September 14, 2020.
All of this is playing out against the backdrop of the looming Atrium C-QUR Hernia Mesh MDL bellwether cases, in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire under Judge McCafferty, moving through similar procedures and set to begin on May 20, 2020. Then there is the Physiomesh Hernia Mesh MDL in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia under Judge Story, with the first bellwether trial scheduled for July 20, 2020, and the related lawsuits currently consolidated in New Jersey state court under Judge Porto following closely behind.
The Plaintiffs hope that the aggressive prosecution of these hernia mesh lawsuits to bellwether trials is likely to lead to quicker, and more favorable, settlements for those injured by the numerous manufacturers of defective hernia mesh.