Loosening Pandemic Protocols Are Pointing to Progress in the Hernia Mesh Litigations
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

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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