The three bellwether trials have been established to help both parties gauge how the juries might respond with evidence and testimony presented and repeated involving over 18,000 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). Every lawsuit is similar in allegations: individuals experienced complications in recent years with Bard’s polypropylene products, including the Bard PerFix Plug, Bard Ventralight, Bard Ventralex, Bard 3DMax and other similar systems.
Because the complaints share similar questions of fact and law, the litigation--since August 2018-- has been centralized and consolidated before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus – who is currently presiding over more than 18,000 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits brought throughout the federal court system. The one difference is that more hernia mesh lawsuits continue to be filed as more patients grapple with defective mesh products.
The first bellwether trial involving complications with certain hernia mesh products found defendants C.R. Bard and Davol not liable for complications a Utah man experienced after receiving a Bard Ventralight ST mesh. Despite the ordeal that Steven Johns experienced with a Bard Ventralex patch, including additional surgery to remove the patch from his body, the jury determined that Johns “did not meet the necessary burden of proof to establish negligence or strict liability claims for failure to warn or design defects”.
The second trial was the first victory for plaintiffs and awarded Antonio Milanesi and his wife $255,000, according to the jury verdict form. The jury sided with Milanesi on claims for negligent design defects and loss of consortium, but not involving strict product liability, negligent failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation and gross misconduct.
And another win for a plaintiff was in August 2022. A Rhode Island state court jury awarded $4.8 million to one plaintiff and conveyed a strong message to Bard regarding the extent of liability it may be up against.
Third Bellwether Trial
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About Lawsuits also reported that the Court has ordered calls for the plaintiff to provide an updated witness list by June 2, with defendants’ updated witness list due by June 16. All unresolved objections must be submitted to the court by early September and the parties will submit proposed jury instructions the following week. Judge Sargus is expected to remand hundreds of individual claims back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trials if Bard does not reach settlements to resolve many claims following the MDL bellwether trials.