Our hernia mesh lawyers are seeking new clients suffering serious side effects from these defective products. Over 20,000 hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed.
Two hernia mesh device lawsuits have gone to trial. Our hernia mesh lawyers updates below (not counting the Atrium ProLite case that our mesh lawyers think is a one-off.)
Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit News and Updates
Before we get projected hernia mesh settlement amounts, let’s get you up to speed on the latest developments in the hernia mesh lawsuits.
January 18, 2023: There were 176 new cases added to the C.R. Bard hernia mesh class action lawsuit over the last 30 days. This brings the total number of pending cases in the MDL to 18,403. This was the largest growth by percentage of any of the mass tort MDLs during the last month. It comes as we continue to close in on the next bellwether trial set for May and settlement speculation/hope continues to swirl.
January 2, 2023: While we wait for the Bard hernia mesh settlements to work out hopefully in the early part of 2023, other hernia mesh class actions continue to move forward. A new plaintiff fact sheet was recently adopted in the Covidien hernia mesh MDL in the District of Massachusetts. All plaintiffs will be required to complete and submit the new fact sheet to keep their case pending.
There are currently only 136 active cases in this MDL, but there are over 5,000 Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits pending in Massachusetts state court. Those state court cases have been consolidated similarly to an MDL and an effort is being made to coordinate the discovery in the state and federal proceedings.
December 28, 2022: As we get closer to the pivotal 3rd bellwether trial (recently postponed from February to May 2023), the size of the plaintiff filed in the C.R. Bard hernia mesh class action lawsuit continues to grow.
Over the last month, 273 new hernia mesh against Bard were added to the MDL, bringing the total number of pending cases up to 18,227. A total of 3,380 new cases were added to the Bard hernia mesh MDL during 2022, a growth increase of 23%. The Bard hernia mesh MDL is the second largest mass tort. Only the massive 3M earplugs MDL is bigger.
November 17, 2022: The C.R. Bard hernia mesh class action MDL continues to expand as we approach the next bellwether trial in February. There were 166 new hernia mesh lawsuits transferred into the MDL over the last 30 days. This brings the current total number of pending cases to 17,954.
At the start of 2022, there were only 15,000 pending lawsuits in the MDL, so an average of around 200 new cases have been added each month. This continued growth will help increase the pressure on Bard’s parent company, Beckton Dickson, to negotiate a global settlement.
October 28, 2022: One of the first status conferences in the Covidien hernia mesh MDL was held this week before Judge Patti Saris in the District of Massachusetts. The parties advised Judge Saris that there are about 170 Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits pending in federal courts and another 5,700 cases pending in Massachusetts state courts. The main topic of discussion at the conference was the defense proposal to coordinate the MDL with the state court cases. The plaintiffs’ committee voiced strong objections to this proposal, noting that it would only allow the MDL plaintiffs less than 1 year to complete complex discovery.
October 14, 2022: We are all hoping for a hernia mesh settlement before the next trial. But if not, the next bellwether trial in the Bard hernia mesh class action is set for February.
What do we know about the facts of this case? The plaintiff in the case is Robert Stinson, Sr. Stinson is a resident of Maine who originally filed his lawsuit in federal court in Rhode Island. Stinson had the Bard Sepramesh IP implanted during a ventral hernia repair surgery in 2014.
This will be the first trial involving the Sepramesh, a permanent hernia mesh implant made from polypropylene with a protective “hydrogel coating.”
Complications with the Sepramesh required Stinson to under multiple corrective surgeries.
October 2, 2022: The MDL judge in the Bard hernia mesh class action issued an order confirming the pre-trial and trial schedule for the upcoming 3rd bellwether test trial in the case of Stinson v. C.R. Bard, et al.
The trial will commence on February 21, 2023. Each side will be allowed a total of 35 hours of trial time, which should give us a trial of about 3 weeks. Final Daubert motions are due by October 7, 2022. After a defense verdict, a verdict, and a whopping verdict, Stinson is a big deal… unless it settles and the rest of the mesh lawsuits reach a settlement before February.
September 1, 2022: Evidence came into focus in the recent hernia mesh trial in Rhode Island state court that underscored that C.R. Bard may have knowingly used a type of plastic in its hernia mesh products that its supplier considered to be unfit for that purpose.
The evidence presented at trial indicates that C.R. Bard used a plastic resin called Pro-fax 5623 in its hernia mesh products despite warnings from the plastic supplier expressly prohibiting it from being used for that purpose.
Despite these warnings, Bard executives insisted on using the resin because it was the cheapest and strongest material available. This is a major new allegation.
A strong new angle with jury appeal and a new $4.8 million verdict in the trial has led us to revise our projected hernia mesh settlement amounts below.
August 29, 2022: Paul Trevino, a municipal worker from Hawaii, was awarded $4.8 million by a Bristol County Superior Court jury in Rhode Island. The jury found Bard/Davol’s hernia mesh kit was defective and Bard failed to warn of that defect.
This is a huge verdict that will hover over hernia mesh settlement negotiations. The expected Bard hernia mesh settlement amounts are higher today than they were yesterday.
August 28, 2022: As we wait for news of the verdict in Rhode Island in Paul Trevino, et al. v. Davol/Bard, let’s talk about the new Covidien class action lawsuit. Judge Patti B. Saris held her first monthly status conference with attorneys in the Covidien hernia mesh class action MDL. This two-month-old Massachusett-based class action already has almost 100 mesh lawsuits.
Over the next few weeks, Judge Saris will focus on making appointments of attorneys to serve on the plaintiffs’ leadership committee. After that is done, the next agenda items will be a joint discovery plan and process for selecting bellwether test cases. The hope is that Bard settles soon and that creates a domino effect where reasonable settlement amounts are offered in these smaller class actions.
August 24, 2022: The judge in the C.R. Bard Hernia Mesh MDL appointed a settlement mediator to help facilitate negotiations on a global settlement of all remaining cases.
This is a significant development because the new settlement mediator was appointed under a joint agreement between the parties, a strong indication that global settlement amounts could soon be finalized. The class action judge also scheduled two more bellwether trials for February (Stinson, finally) and May of next year. This should give both sides extra incentive to get a settlement compensation deal done by the end of the year.
July 23, 2022: More hernia mesh lawyers are filing lawsuits that could be a harbinger of a global hernia mesh settlement. Why? Many lawyers close their doors to new lawsuits when a global settlement amount is reached.
The last monthly period saw another high volume of new hernia mesh lawsuits added to the C.R. Bard hernia mesh class action lawsuit in Ohio. Between June 15 and July 15, a total of 216 new hernia mesh lawsuits were transferred into the Bard MDL, bringing the total Bard mesh lawsuits in the class action to 17,195.
Are these filings evidence that there is merit to rumors that a global hernia mesh settlement agreement may soon be in the works? No. But if you are inclined to be optimistic, this gives you another reason to believe settlement amounts will soon be offered to victims.
July 16, 2022: In the updates below, we talk about how both sides appealed Antonio Milanesi’s verdict. The judge in the C.R. Bard Hernia Mesh MDL denied motions filed by both sides seeking to undo the $225,000 verdict awarded in the 2nd bellwether trial back in April.
The verdict pleased no one. The defendants had filed a motion seeking to overturn the verdict because they claimed that the plaintiffs had failed to present adequate evidence of causation. The plaintiffs wanted a new trial because they didn’t think the jury awarded enough damages.
Yet nothing will change. In a pair of orders, the Bard class action judge denied both motions. This means the bellwether verdict will stand unless overturned on appeal.
July 7, 2022: The Bard hernia mesh class action judge denied the defendant’s request for a docket control order that we talked about in our last update. Such an order would have put pressure on plaintiffs to put marshal evidence to support their case, including possibly expert testimony. Plaintiffs’ lawyers saw this as a wildly premature request that would put an undue burden on plaintiffs and their attorneys.
What Bard is doing here is likely a good sign that it may soon offer reasonable settlement amounts to resolve the hernia mesh cases. Why? Defendants do not want to pay plaintiffs who they cannot fully verify have suffered injuries that would warrant a settlement compensation payout. That is fair but there are far more reasonable ways to verify the victims’ injuries. Settlement talks have stalled in the hernia mesh lawsuits with Bard. This makes little sense because Bard has already agreed to settlement payout amounts for a large number of hernia mesh lawsuits in Rhode Island.
July 1, 2022: As C.R. Bard seeks a docket control order in the ongoing hernia mesh MDL, new hernia mesh lawsuits against Bard continue getting filed around the country and transferred into the MDL. In the last week, 10 more Bard hernia mesh lawsuits were transferred into the MDL class action. Four of the new mesh lawsuits came from the District of Rhode Island and 6 from the District of Minnesota.
June 14, 2022: The defendants in the largest of the hernia mesh MDLs, C.R. Bard and Davol, are now asking the MDL judge to issue a “docket control order” that would reduce the number of new mesh lawsuits coming into the MDL. The C.R. Bard hernia mesh MDL was established in 2018 and has grown to include 16,803 pending cases by plaintiffs alleging that they suffered various injuries and complications from the defective design of Bard’s mesh implants.
Bard claims that in the last few months, a large influx of new cases has been filed that involve “weaker” claims than those filed in previous phases. Bard argues that the docket control order is necessary to limit these meritless claims. The obvious response from the plaintiffs, however, will be that the order would curtail the rights of prospective plaintiffs.
If the docket control order is entered, it would require all plaintiffs to produce “proof of medical diagnosis or compensable injury” to avoid dismissal. This proof would be an affidavit from a qualified surgeon attesting that the plaintiff’s injury is connected to the Bard mesh implant. The docket control order would also require the plaintiff’s counsel in all cases to certify that certain screening criteria have been satisfied.
June 1, 2022: Lawyers for Plaintiff Antonio Milanesi filed a response in opposition to Bard’s post-verdict JMOL motion. In that response, Milanesi points out that the JMOL simply restates the same arguments that the Court has previously rejected both at the summary judgment stage and again in Bard’s pre-verdict JMOL. The response also asserts that Milanesi did, in fact, adequately prove that the VentraLex hernia mesh at issue was defective. Specifically, the response notes that the alleged defects in the mesh product were established with “competent expert testimony” as required under Florida law.
May 24, 2022: Neither side was entirely satisfied with the $250,000 verdict in the 2nd bellwether trial in the C.R. Bard hernia mesh MDL. Shortly after the verdict, both C.R. Bard and the plaintiffs filed motions challenging the outcome of the trial. C.R. Bard filed a post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law.
Bard’s motion argues that judgment is warranted because the plaintiffs failed to prove design defect or causation under Florida law. The plaintiffs filed a motion for a new trial on damages (FRCP 59) arguing that the Court failed to properly instruct the jury that the defense had the burden of proof on their mitigation of damages argument. The plaintiffs assert that the jury’s damages calculation was negatively impacted by this error.
May 23, 2022: The Ethicon hernia mesh litigation is continuing its slow winding-up phase following the global settlement that was recently brokered.
In the C.R. Bard MDL, as of last week, there are 16,803 cases pending and active. Frustratingly, but there has been almost no activity in the last month following the $250,000 verdict in the 2nd bellwether trial.
Finally, in the Atrium Hernia Mesh MDL in New Hampshire, there are now 3,267 pending cases as of May 16, but with little or no activity in the MDL.
May 2, 2022: Some of you have been a little annoyed by the lack of updates since the trial. We have not had any until now.
There is a global settlement that has been reached in the Ethicon Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuit in the MDL. That MDL class action has 3,617 plaintiffs. So it is much small than the Bard class action which has nearly 17,000 plaintiffs in the MDL.
This is also an important development for anyone who has brought a C.R. Bard hernia mesh lawsuit or a lawsuit against any other mesh defendant. It creates more inertia toward settlement and, to some extent, helps set settlement amounts.
When is the next hernia mesh trial in the MDL class action? Our lawyers have been asked this question by chat and text frequently since Milanesi. There is no trial date set. If there is not a global Bard settlement, our attorneys would expect the next trial date would be in the fall.
April 15, 2022 #2: $250,000 verdict for Mr. Milanesi on his defective design claim; $5,000 to his wife for her loss of consortium case. Glad to get a win. The jury was likely divided and this is a compromise verdict.
April 13, 2022: The defendants rested their case yesterday after calling Dr. Kevin Gillian. Dr. Gillian plays a lead role in Bard’s effort to blame the original surgeon that chose the large Ventralex. (Doctors should remember this and so should sales reps competing against Bard.) Dr. Gillian has a long history with Bard, who has been paying him in a consulting relationship for many years.
April 12, 2022: Defendants called Donna-Bea Tillman (FDA-related opinions) and Stephen Badylak (resorption of the ST hydrogel coating) yesterday. There is a dispute about whether the plaintiff’s lawyers will be able to recall Dr. Jimmy Mays as a rebuttal witness regarding whether the Ventralex was a “state of the art” device. The court should rule on this dispute soon. If permitted, Dr. Mays would testify after the defendants close their case.
April 8, 2022: After finishing the videotape of Christopher Paolo’s deposition, Bard called Kimberly Trautman, an expert on medical device regulations, to testify. Many were hoping to get a verdict today. It won’t happen.
April 7, 2022: After Dr. Ciavalella’s testimony was concluded, the plaintiff rested his case. Bard’s first witness Maureen Reitman has a long history of testifying against hernia mesh victims. She testifies, among other things, that Bard’s manufacturing process with the Ventralex was adequate. Bard also started the videotape deposition of Christopher Paolo.
In other hernia mesh news, a motion to create new hernia mesh lawsuit class action was denied in the Atrium ProLoop and Prolite suits. This might be more of a delay in creating a new class action, not a rejection of the eventual need for consolidated action. There are only 11 filed Atrium ProLoop and Prolite lawsuits at this point.
April 5, 2022: Dr. Beatrice’s testimony concluded yesterday. Plaintiff’s attorneys also played the videotaped deposition of another expert witness, Dr. David Ciavarella.
April 1, 2022: Yesterday, Dr. Gill (original surgeon) finished his testimony, and Dr. Michael Beatrice, Ph.D., testified. Dr. Beatrice testified about how Bard/Davol. Dr. Beatrice testified about the defendant’s failure to track complaints involving the Ventralex device and controls and testing of the product.
March 31, 2022: Wednesday saw the completion of Mr. Darois’ testimony, the testimony of Plaintiff’s wife, and Dr. Karanbir Gill. Dr. Gill’s testimony is particularly important because he is the surgeon that selected and utilized the Ventralex Hernia Patch to repair Plaintiff’s umbilical hernia.
March 30, 2022: Yesterday was a full day of more testimony from Roger Darois.
March 29, 2022: Yesterday was the 6th day of the trial. Plaintiff’s attorneys called Roger Darois, a hostile witness. Now a retired Bard vice-president, Mr. Darios is famous in the hernia mesh lawsuits for once writing as a Davol executive that suppliers like Chevron Phillips “will likely not be interested in a medical application due to product-liability concerns.” A stunning thing to say. He asked for secrecy that Davol/Bard was using in humans, “It is likely they do not know of our implant application. Please do not mention Davol’s name in any discussion with these manufacturers.”
March 26, 2022: Two witnesses testified yesterday. Dr. Jimmy Hays’ testimony is that the ST coating of the Ventralight ST reabsorbs far too quickly and that the exposure of bare polypropylene causes injuries like the plaintiff suffered. So plaintiff’s attorneys have put on evidence through Dr. Krpata and Dr. Hays of specific and general causation. Plaintiffs also called Stephen Eldridge, a Senior Research and Development Manager at Davol/Bard. Eldridge’s testimony is about what Bard knew and when they knew it.
March 24, 2022: Wednesday, Plaintiff’s lawyers played more of Daniel LaFever’s videotaped deposition and then called Dr. David Krpata from the Cleveland Clinic as an expert witness in hernia surgery. Dr. Krpata, who is well-published on hernia mesh surgery, showed the jury a Ventralex mesh device animation to help explain his expert opinions.
The core of Dr. Krpata’s opinion is that Mr. Milanesi’s recurrent hernias are due to the weakening of the abdominal wall as a result of the two surgeries. Dr. Krpata further opines that polypropylene mesh and implanted expanded polytetrafluoroethylene contract at different rates. This can cause bucking. The problem, according to Dr. Krpata and countless experts, is that the Ventralex’s memory recoil ring does not have the rigidity to control the buckling which leads to complications.
March 23, 2022 Update: Hernia mesh lawyers on both sides gave opening statements that lasted less than 90 minutes each on Tuesday. Plaintiff’s attorneys then called former Davol President Daniel LaFever by videotaped testimony.
March 22, 2022 Update: A jury was picked Monday in the next MDL class action lawsuit to go to trial. The jury that will hear Antonio Milanesi v. C.R. Bard was picked in three hours and sworn in by 1:40 p.m. Eight Ohio jurors will decide this hernia mesh lawsuit using Florida law. Opening statements from the attorneys will begin tomorrow morning.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
If you are a potential plaintiff, you want to know the expected average settlement amounts of the hernia mesh cases. Below, our hernia mesh lawyers look at statistics and data and try to give answers as to what the average hernia mesh payout might be.
This is a useful exercise. These cases are ultimately about money to compensate victims for the harm done. But just keep in mind when it comes to ultimate settlement value and the expected average individual payout, our lawyers are merely speculating based on the facts and prior cases.
So what do we estimate for the average payout for a hernia mesh lawsuit? Certainly, this will depend on how successful the bellwether trials are in 2022. Yes, we lost the one surgical mesh lawsuit that went to trial this year. There will be others.
Prior verdicts and settlements from comparable cases suggest that hernia mesh claims will likely be worth $50,000 to $1 million depending on individual circumstances. The likely range of a jury compensation payout should be in the $500,000 to $5 million range. (Our lawyers put this range up before the $4.8 million verdict in Trevino in Rhode Island state court in August 2022.)
Yes, that is a big range. Keep reading. Our lawyers break down our thinking – and throw in the caveats – below.
Summary of Hernia Mesh Defects
A hernia is a very common medical condition that must be surgically repaired. Almost 1 million hernia repair surgeries are performed at hospitals in the U.S. every year, making hernia repairs the most common type of surgical procedure in modern medicine. Over the last 20-30 years, most hernia repairs have involved the use of a mesh or patch implant device. These devices most typically treat:
- Incisional Hernia: weakness in the muscle of the abdomen
- Ventral Hernia: weakness specifically in the abdominal wall muscles
- Femoral Hernia: upper thigh or outer groin
- Inguinal Hernia: inner groin
- Umbilical Hernia: bulge that forms at the belly button
- Hiatal Hernia: stomach bulges up into your chest
When performing hernia repair surgery, doctors tuck the protruding organ (usually an intestine) back into place and then surgically repair the muscle wall that holds it in place.
A mesh or patch is like a small little net or screen that the surgeon implants in or around the repaired muscle tissue. The surgical mesh has biological materials. This allows connective tissue to develop that acts as structural support to strengthen and reinforce the repaired muscle wall at the site of the hernia. The muscle tissue regrows around the mesh or patch.
Because these devices are implants they need to be made out of inert materials that can exist inside the human body without triggering an immune system response. They also need to stay intact so as not to move after the surgery or protrude into adjacent tissue.
Most of the earlier mesh products were non-permanent/absorbable. They were made out of animal byproducts that were designed to be gradually absorbed by the body and disappear after implantation. These absorbable devices had a good safety record, but they did not provide permanent abdominal wall support.
In the early 2000s, a new wave of permanent hernia mesh devices from various manufacturers began to hit the market. These devices were made out of a special type of plastic, surrounded by some type of inert coating material that was supposed to make them bio-compatible inside the body. Unfortunately, many of these new permanent mesh/patch implants had major design flaws. These flaws led to chronic pain and other disastrous consequences for many patients, including a revision hernia mesh surgery.
Adverse event reports from healthcare professionals to U.S. Food and Drug Administration grew. Eventually, and arguably belatedly, the FDA issued safety warnings and demanded product recalls.
The fundamental problem with this type of hernia mesh is its bio-compatibility inside the human body. Instead of being inert once implanted in the body, the permanent mesh devices had design or manufacturing issues that caused these synthetic materials to be incompatible with the human immune system.
Once implanted, the defective hernia mesh devices would trigger an immune system attack resulting in inflammation and other complications. Another related problem is that their outer coating degraded too quickly, causing the mesh to become abnormally attached to internal organs or tissue.
Injuries Caused by Hernia Mesh Defects
The defective hernia mesh devices can cause internal injuries and/or health complications. The most common injuries linked to defective hernia mesh products:
- Internal infections and pain
- Bowel obstruction
- Mesh detachment and migration
- Puncture of adjacent tissue/organs
- Adhesion to other organs or tissue from scar tissue formation
Many of these complications require additional surgery to repair or correct.
In some cases, hernia repair surgery patients started experiencing some of these complications within just a few days after the mesh was surgically implanted. For others, however, there was a substantial delay between the hernia surgery and the onset of symptoms related to defects in the hernia mesh device.
The Defective Hernia Mesh Products
The hernia mesh recalls and lawsuits have primarily revolved around three hernia mesh product lines” Kugel Mesh, Ethicon Physiomesh, and Atrium C-Cur mesh. The table below lists the three companies and the names of their defective hernia mesh products.
Manufacturer Products Date Range
- C.R. Bard Kugel Hernia Mesh 1998-2007
- Ethicon Physiomesh 2010-2016
- Atrium Medical C-Qur Mesh / Patch 2006-2015
Our lawyers are also looking at LifeCell Strattice and Surgimesh claims which we talk about more below.
The product liability litigation involving the Kugel hernia mesh devices is hot with the next trial in the class action set for March 22, 2022 (rescheduled after a COVID delay.
We had a C-Qur trial date but that case reached a settlement after U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland rejected Atrium Medical Corporation’s summary judgment motion that sought to dismiss the plaintiff’s C-Qur hernia mesh lawsuit. The judge did dismiss the plaintiff’s defective design claims. But she allowed his failure to warn and manufacturing defect claims to proceed. Ultimately, that is the key argument hernia mesh lawyers are pushing: the failure to warn doctors and patients of the risk.
With Physiomesh, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed surgical mesh lawsuits alleging the multi-layer coating prevented adequate incorporation of the mesh. The result was victims coming in for a common type of hernia and having serious post-surgery complications because the polypropylene mesh portion of the Physiomesh could not withstand normal abdominal forces.
LifeCell Strattice Lawsuits
The LifeCell Strattice is the brand name for yet another hernia mesh implant that has caused several problems and prompted product liability lawsuits. The Strattice is manufactured by LifeCell Corp., which is a subsidiary of Allergan Inc.
The Strattice was first released in the U.S. market in 2010 around 2010 and has been used in thousands of hernia repair surgeries over the last decade. The Strattice mesh implant is primarily used in parastomal and inguinal hernia repair surgeries and abdominal wall surgery.
The Strattice mesh implant is made from a synthetic material derived from pigskin. The material was designed to be “acellular” and biologically compatible inside the body.
Unfortunately, however, the Strattice suffered from many of the same problems as the polypropylene hernia mesh devices. Once implanted, the unique pig-skin material of the Strattice tended to rapidly break down causing the mesh to come apart.
The problems with the Strattice were so acute that in 2011, just a year after it was first released, the FDA issued a recall and blocked the Strattice from future use. Strattice became what our lawyers call a mini-class action in state court in New Jersey in 2021.
Our lawyers are also looking at Surgimesh lawsuits. Surgimesh is a line of hernia mesh and general surgical mesh implants manufactured by a French company and distributed in the U.S. by BG Medical, LLC.
The Surgimesh is made from non-woven polypropylene fibers with one side coated with silicone to prevent abnormal tissue attachments. Surgimesh was first released in the U.S. in 2008 based on 501k FDA approval.
The Surgimesh appears to suffer from many of the same design flaws that have plagued other polypropylene hernia mesh implants. There have been four Surgimesh tort lawsuits filed against BG Medical since 2018. The lack of lawsuits is because Surgimesh is made by a French company that has a small market share in the U.S. But our attorneys expect to see more of these lawsuits.
How Much Are Expected Hernia Mesh Settlement Amounts?
In June 2017, the MDL Panel created MDL 2782 to coordinate all federal Physiomesh hernia mesh lawsuits alleging complications when implanted in patients, “including herniation through the mesh, recurrent hernia formation and/or rupture, and deformation of the mesh.”
Three lawsuits have gone to trial, two in the MDL and one in state court. A fourth hernia mesh lawsuit goes to trial in February 2023. The average per person verdict has been over $1.6 million. So we are getting a better idea of what the trial value of these cases may be. From that, we can extrapolate settlement amounts. We can also look to Round 1 of the hernia mesh lawsuit saga that involved multi-district litigation of thousands of claims against C.R. Bard regarding defects with its Kugel hernia devices.
So let’s make some predictions on the settlement value of the hernia mesh lawsuits. Our lawyers can estimate the likely value of round 2 hernia mesh cases based on the outcome of round 1, the settlement values in other surgical mesh lawsuits, and the three verdicts we have. It is just speculation but it is a start. Let’s begin by comparing these cases to previous hernia mesh suits.
- Hernia Mesh Litigation Round #1
In round 1 of the hernia mesh litigation, C.R. Bard was defending thousands of individual lawsuits by plaintiffs alleging injuries resulting from defects in the company’s Kugel Hernia Mesh device. The Kugel implant had a design defect that causes a plastic ring on the mesh to break off inside the patient. When the Kugel ring broke off it caused bowel obstruction or in more serious cases perforation of the bowel. Both results were very painful and required surgical repair.The Kugel federal court cases were consolidated into an MDL in Rhode Island. A bellwether case, Thorpe v C.R. Bard Inc, was selected for the trial. The victim in Thorpe suffered some of the most severe injuries associated with the defective Kugel implant. When the ring on the mesh broke off inside him it punctured and obstructed his bowel and he had to undergo 5 surgeries to repair it. A federal jury in Rhode Island awarded Mr. Thorpe $1.5 million in damages.Based on the outcome in Thorpe, C.R. Bard eventually agreed to a global settlement of all pending Kugel cases in the class action lawsuit. C.R. Bard agreed to pay $184 million to settle over 2,000 pending Kugel lawsuits. Although this equated to only $70,000 per case, it does not mean that each mesh victim got $70,000. The 2,600 Kugel cases were divided into different tiers based mainly on how severe the injuries were and how strong their case was. Tier 1 plaintiffs with the most severe level of injuries probably got over $1 million. Plaintiffs in tier 2 with less severe injuries likely got $500,000-$900,000. Tier 3 plaintiffs probably received less than $100,000. Finally, claimants in the lowest tiers probably received some nominal amount or nothing at all.
- Vaginal Mesh Settlements
The current round of hernia mesh lawsuits shares some similarities with the mass tort litigation involving defective transvaginal mesh devices. The vaginal mesh litigation involves many different devices and manufacturers and many cases are still pending. Endo International agreed to pay out nearly $900 million in a global settlement agreement for 20,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits. This equates to roughly an average per person settlement payout of $45,000 per individual case. Again, this does not mean that each vaginal mesh plaintiff received $45,000 per person for their claim. Why? The best cases got more and the worst got fewer. As with any mass tort, the vaginal mesh claims were divided into separate tiers based on the severity of injury and strength of the case.
How Much for Average Hernia Lawsuit Settlement Payout?
Based on the results of the prior litigation outcomes discussed above, our surgical mesh lawyers believe that the average settlement amounts for top-tier hernia mesh claims may be around $250,000 to $1,000,000. These are the most serious injury and wrongful death cases.
Mesh lawsuits in the lower settlement tiers (those involving less serious injuries) will have a much lower value. There are cases with less serious and permanent injuries. Our hernia mesh lawyers think the average settlement amounts in these cases will be $70,000 to $80,000 but, again, the more serious cases will have a higher average settlement amount.
These estimations are based in some measure on the older hernia mesh cases that settled. Thankfully, the defendants this time (Atrium & Ethicon) are larger corporations with deep pockets. Atrium Medical is only somewhat bigger than C.R. Bard. Ethicon is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. which is one of the largest drug/medical companies in the entire world.
Keep in mind a few things. First, this is all speculation. A hernia mesh lawyer cannot project with accuracy the average settlement amounts in these lawsuits. We have had three trials and we just bumped up our expected per-person payouts after the $4.8 million verdict in August 2022, albeit not by a large amount of money. So these hernia mesh settlement numbers could swing both ways depending on how future trials go.
Do I Qualify for a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit?
Our law firm is accepting new hernia mesh cases from anyone who meets the following basic criteria:
- You had a hernia repair surgery sometime in the last 15 years AND a hernia mesh device was implanted as part of the procedure.
- You experienced complications or injuries related to defects in the hernia mesh implant device.
If you, or a family member, meet these criteria CONTACT US.
How Long Will It Take to Get a Hernia Mesh Settlement?
No one knows how long it will be until a hernia mesh lawsuit settlement. But with the trial coming up this year, the timeline seems to be shrinking and a settlement could be on the horizon. Still, hernia mesh plaintiffs should not expect to receive any settlement compensation in 2022 (even if there was a settlement later this year). Could they get settlement checks in 2023? It is possible and our hernia mesh lawyers are hopeful.
How Do I Know If My Hernia Mesh Has Failed?
When a hernia mesh implant fails it can trigger several acute physical symptoms including
- abdominal bloating or discomfort
- constipation or bowel blockage
- nausea and vomiting
- hernia recurrence
- pain and swelling.
In most cases, these physical symptoms will be severe enough that the patient will seek medical attention. This is usually when the failure of the hernia mesh implant is identified.
Which Hernia Mesh Cases Are Your Lawyers Handling?
Our hernia mesh lawyers are handling mesh lawsuits involving products:
- J&J/Ethicon – Physiomesh
- Atrium – C-QUR – C-QUR Mosaic – C-QUR Edge – C-QUR TacShield – C-QUR Lite Mesh V-Patch – C-QUR Mesh V-Patch
- Covidien – Parietene – ALL Parietex – SurgiPro – Symbotex
- Bard – All 3D Max – Bard Mesh – All Composix – Flat Mesh
- Monofilament – All Kugel – Marlex
- Keyhole – Perfix Plug – Sepramesh – Spermatex – Ventralex – Ventralex ST – Ventrio – Ventrio ST – Ventralight ST – Visilex
Ventralex Hernia Mesh Claims
The Ventralex is under particular focus because it is the mesh product used in the second hernia mesh MDL class action trial in January 2022. The Ventralex was designed for use on patients needing umbilical or small ventral hernia repairs.
The Ventralex has two sides—one of polypropylene mesh and one of permanently expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (“ePTFE”). (The polypropylene mesh side faces the abdominal wall, encouraging the tissue to grow into the mesh and thus supporting the hernia repair. The ePTFE side faces the intestines and is designed to minimize tissue attachment, such as adhesions, to the intestines and other viscera. The Ventralex also has a monofilament memory coil ring. It is made of polyethylene terephthalate (“PET”). The ring is designed to help the patch “pop open” and then “lay flat” against the abdominal wall after the Ventralex is folded and inserted through the incision site during surgical repair of the hernia
The Ventralex was pushed to market through the controversial FDA 510(k) premarket notification process that allows a shortened approval process if a medical device is similar to a previously approved product.
What was the previous product that Bard used in the 510(k) process? The Composix Kugel. This is the same device that Bard paid settlement amounts totaling $184 million to resolve hernia mesh lawsuits claiming that the mesh product was defective.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Medical Studies
The key to success for victims in the hernia mesh litigation at the settlement table and trial is the strength of the scientific and medical literature that underscores the risk of mesh implants. These are some of the key studies at issue in the litigation.
- Dong, Z., et al. “Does the use of hernia mesh in surgical inguinal hernia repairs cause male infertility? A systematic review and descriptive analysis.” Reproductive Health. 15.1 (2018): 1-14. (This study looked at the association between hernia meshes and male infertility. The researchers looked at 29 related trials. They found that hernia mesh repairs, open and laparoscopic-assisted, did not negatively affect male fertility. This nixed any claim in this regard in the hernia mesh lawsuits.)
- Gachabayov, M., et al. “Recurrence of infection and hernia following partial versus complete removal of infected hernia mesh: a systematic review and cohort meta-analysis.” Hernia. 24.3 (2020): 433-439. (This meta-analysis and systematic review compared infection and hernia recurrence rates in partial and complete hernia mesh removals. Infection recurrence rates were 59 percent in partial removals and 26 percent incomplete removals. Hernia recurrence rates were about 10 percent in partial removals and 40 percent incomplete removals. The researchers concluded that partial removals increased the infection recurrence risk, while complete removals increased the hernia recurrence risk.)
- Ilyashenko, V. V., et al. “Laparoscopic management of large hiatal hernia: mesh method with the use of ProGrip mesh versus standard crural repair.” Surgical Endoscopy. 32.8. (2018): 3592-3598. (This study compared and contrasted the effectiveness of laparoscopic-assisted hernia mesh repairs and crural repairs. The researchers concluded that hernia mesh repairs were “effective and durable” for an extended period.)
- Raj, P.P., et al. “Morbid obesity with a ventral hernia: is concomitant bariatric surgery with laparoscopic ventral hernia mesh repair the best approach? An experience of over 150 cases.” Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 15.7 (2019): 1098-1103. (This study looked at whether combining bariatric surgery with an intraperitoneal hernia mesh repair was the best treatment for obese patients with ventral hernias. The researchers concluded that bariatric surgeries with intraperitoneal hernia mesh repairs could treat obesity and hernias without significant risk of recurrence.)
- Sandø, A., et al. “Long-term patient-reported outcomes and quality of the evidence in ventral hernia mesh repair: a systematic review.” Hernia. (2020): 1-11. (This study looked at whether patient-reported outcomes changed three months after a ventral hernia mesh repair. The researchers found patients who underwent large incisional hernia mesh repairs experienced pain and physical impairment.)
Get a Lawyer for Your Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If you have a potential hernia mesh implant lawsuit and would like to discuss the potential value of your claim, contact a hernia mesh attorney at Miller & Zois for a free consultation. Three things to know:
- You pay nothing unless you get compensation.
- You will not get a hard sell from us. Just information and help if you want it.
- Our law firm has spent the last 20 years fighting exclusively for injury and wrongful death victims.
Call a hernia mesh lawyer today at 800-553-8082 or submit an online contact form.