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Volume XI, Number 136

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Loosening Pandemic Protocols Are Pointing to Progress in the Hernia Mesh Litigations

As you know, COVID-19 has hit some sectors harder than others. The judiciary was especially susceptible because it relied on in-person proceedings – for example, you may have observed that no one in your family has received a jury duty notice lately. Though it is of little comfort to you, these unprecedented delays have affected virtually all pending litigations around the entire country to some extent. Hopefully, that is all beginning to change as new COVID-19 protocols are gradually rolled out.

The Hernia Mesh lawsuits are beginning to grind forward in state and federal courts across the nation, involving defective Hernia Mesh products distributed by major manufacturers, including Bard, Ethicon, Atrium, and Covidien. While these are all completely separate litigations, prior experience tells us that advances in the litigation against one manufacturer can be reflected in the litigations regarding other respective manufacturers. Accordingly, the following are some current key dates in the pending Hernia Mesh litigations, subject to change based upon COVID-19 conditions (keeping in mind that it has been said that the only constant in litigation is change – mostly with regard to the courts’ changing schedules).

The Bard Hernia Mesh litigations mainly focus on the PerFix, 3DMax, Marlex, Kugel, Composix, Ventralex, Ventrio, Sepramesh, and Ventralight product lines. This litigation is the biggest, based largely upon market share. The major state litigation is venued in Rhode Island (where Bard is headquartered), while the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is venued in the Southern District of Ohio. Currently, the first in-person state trial is still scheduled to take place on April 6, 2021. The first in-person federal trial is still expected to take place on April 19, 2021. The plaintiffs are hopeful that these dates stick and lead to a succession of bellwether trials held up by the pandemic.

The Ethicon Hernia Mesh litigations mainly focus on Physiomesh and include claims involving certain Proceed and Prolene product lines. The major state litigation is venued in New Jersey (where Ethicon is headquartered), while the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is venued in the Northern District of Georgia. Currently, the first in-person federal trial is still scheduled to take place on June 7, 2021, to be followed by additional state and federal bellwether trials.

The Atrium Hernia Mesh litigations are mainly focused on the C-Qur product line. The major state litigation is venued in New Hampshire (where Atrium was headquartered at one time), while the federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is venued in the District of New Hampshire. Currently, the first in-person federal trial is still scheduled to occur on July 7, 2021, to be followed by additional state and federal bellwether trials.

The Covidien Hernia Mesh litigations are mainly focused on the Parietex and Gore-Tex product lines. This litigation is smaller, based largely upon market share. There is a major state litigation is venued in Massachusetts (where Covidien was headquartered at one time). Currently, there are no bellwether trials scheduled for the near future.

Again, there will undoubtedly be several stops and starts yet in store. Still, we are hopeful that the recent developments and expected easing of COVID-19 protocols will permit the Hernia Mesh litigations to get back on track.

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COPYRIGHT © 2021, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 83
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About this Author

Martin P. Schrama, Stark Law, Intellectual Property and Litigation Law Attorney
Shareholder

Martin P. Schrama is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark's Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort, Intellectual Property and Green Litigation Groups. Mr. Schrama has extensive experience litigating on both the trial and appellate levels of the federal and state courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as numerous other jurisdictions throughout the nation in a pro hac vice capacity. This experience also extends to regular practice before AAA, JAMS and various other alternate dispute resolution fora.

The primary focus of Mr. Schrama’s practice is...

609-895-7334
Stefanie Colella Walsh, Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorney, Stark Law Firm
Shareholder

Stefanie Colella-Walsh is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Litigation, Insurance Coverage & Liability, Intellectual Property and Mass Torts Groups where she concentrates her practice in complex litigation with a focus in mass tort and pharmaceutical litigation. She also handles litigation related to nursing home negligence and abuse claims, elder abuse, and assisted living facility litigation.

Recently, Ms. Colella-Walsh was a member of the national trial team involved the first trial in the country of a TVT-Secur transvaginal...

609-219-7416
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