Originally scheduled to begin Feb. 21, 2023, the third bellwether Bard hernia mesh trial adjudicated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) will be delayed until May 2023. U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., who is presiding over 18,000 Bard hernia mesh lawsuits in the MDL, did not provide a reason for the delay.
Judge Sargus’ order comes just weeks after a settlement master was appointed to resolve the personal injury litigation, in which plaintiffs claim they experienced painful complications as the result of having Bard’s allegedly-defective polypropylene mesh inserted after undergoing a hernia operation.
The MDL covers different hernia meshes sold under the Bard brand name, which is owned by Becton Dickinson & Co. Bard hernia mesh systems that allegedly are defective include the brand’s 3D Max, Perfix, Ventralex, and Ventralight systems.
Judge Sargus’ order will also delay the start of the fourth bellwether Bard Hernia Mesh MDL trial, which was originally scheduled for May 2023.
In August 2021, a jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Bard and another Becton Dickinson subsidiary, Davol, in the first Hernia Mesh MDL bellwether trial. In the second bellwether trial, a jury returned a $255,000 plaintiff verdict in April 2022.
Thousands of Bard hernia mesh lawsuits have also been filed at the state level. In August 2022, a jury in a Rhode Island court returned a $4.8 million plaintiff verdict for Paul Trevino, who was implanted with a Bard Ventralex hernia patch system in 2008. Trevino developed painful complications several years later, allegedly because the system was defective. Bard has settled other hernia mesh lawsuits filed in Rhode Island state court.
The federal Bard hernia mesh cases were consolidated in MDL in 2018. The delay of the third—and fourth—MDL bellwether trials allows more time for a settlement to be reached. However, if no settlement is reached, Judge Sargus has indicated that cases consolidated in the MDL could be remanded to U.S. District Courts next year.