October 2020 – There are currently three separate multidistrict litigations (MDLs) open against manufacturers of hernia mesh surgical devices, as listed below:
Atrium C-QUR Mesh MDL
In re: Atrium Medical Corp. C-Qur Mesh Products Liability Litigation, Case No.: 16-MD-2753 LM (New Hampshire). The judicial panel established the consolidated litigation in December 2016. To date, approximately 2,100 lawsuits over Atrium C-QUR mesh are pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. The first bellwether trial was scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020, but was continued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the FDA has not yet recalled C-Qur mesh, the FDA has conducted multiple investigations into the potential consumer risks of C-Qur mesh, as well as the business practices of the product manufacturer, Atrium.
In 2015, the FDA filed a lawsuit against Atrium, claiming the manufacturer had introduced adulterated medical devices into the market.
FDA investigations into C-Qur mesh have opened inquiries into the potential dangers posed to consumers. While C-Qur is advertised as unlikely to create scar tissue or fuse with muscle tissue, there have been a large number adverse events reported by consumers — including allergic reactions, inflammation, bowel obstruction, infection, and a tendency to fuse with abdominal muscle tissue. These alleged medical issues were the basis for a number of healthcare professionals and hospitals to discontinue using C-Qur.
Since the FDA’s investigation into Atrium, there have been many cases filed across several district courts. Plaintiff’s allegations range from adverse effects caused by C-Qur mesh to Atrium’s failure to properly warn consumers of the potential dangers involved with C-Qur.
Ethicon Physiomesh MDL
In Re: Ethicon Physiomesh Flexible Composite Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2782 (New Jersey and Georgia). The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established the MDL in June 2017. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia oversees 2,989 pending lawsuits as of June 29, 2020.
The worldwide recall of Ethicon’s Physiomesh Flexible Composite products in May 2016 came as a result of unpublished data from multiple European hernia registries that correlated Physiomesh and higher than average recurrence and revision rates as compared to other laparoscopic hernia meshes. Thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits filed against Ethicon were consolidated in a federal MDL and in a state court proceeding in New Jersey. Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is based in New Jersey.
The first bellwether trials against Ethicon in either MDL 2782 or the New Jersey state court proceedings were scheduled for 2020, but those schedules were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 19, 2020, the court in MDL 2782 set the first trial for November 2, 2020.
Davol/Bard Hernia Mesh MDL
In Re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2846 (Ohio and Rhode Island). The MDL panel established the litigation on August 2, 2018 over different brands of Bard Davol’s polypropylene products in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
On May 5, 2020, the court set the first federal Bard hernia mesh lawsuit for trial on September 29, 2020. There is a possibility this trial will be further postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of May 18, 2020, there were 7,098 cases filed in the federal Bard consolidated proceedings. Because C.R. Bard is headquartered in Rhode Island, many hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in Rhode Island state court. Approximately 8,000 cases are pending against Bard in Rhode Island state court.
Bard’s Ventralex mesh, Perfix plug and Composix Kugel mesh are the hernia mesh products most commonly at issue in these lawsuits. However, cases have been filed for injuries from over 20 Bard hernia mesh products including the 3D Max, Ventrio, Ventralex ST, Ventrio ST, Ventralight ST, Perfix Light Plug, Composix, Bard Mesh, Bard Soft Mesh and Sepramesh IP.
Covidien Parietex and W.L. Gore Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
In Re: Covidien Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation
June 5, 2020 — Plaintiffs filed a motion asking that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transfer related Covidien hernia mesh product liability actions for coordination as a fifth MDL for hernia mesh litigation. In doing so, they recognized that the Panel had already established an MDL in 2016 for products manufactured by Atrium, in 2017 for products made by Ethicon, and in 2018 for products by Bard/ Davol. Covidien, Inc., a subsidiary of Medtronic, Inc., manufactured several hernia mesh products that are the target of personal injury lawsuits alleging injuries from Parietex Mesh, Parietex Composite Mesh/Patch and Parietex ProGrip Mesh. The Parietex products are unique because they are composed of polyester (polyethylene) rather than the polypropylene that most hernia mesh products are made of. The Plaintiffs claim that it is now necessary and appropriate for the Panel to establish a fifth MDL proceeding for the copy-cat cases that allege manufacturing, design, and warning defects in the hernia mesh Covidient products.
Lawsuits have also been filed against W.L Gore for injuries from its Gore-Tex Mesh products. To date, neither the Covidien nor W.L. Gore cases have been consolidated at either the federal or state court level. Most Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits have been filed in Minnesota state courts, where Covidien is headquartered. Currently, there are over 140 state court hernia mesh lawsuits on file. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation was scheduled to hear arguments on July 30, 2020 for and against consolidating the handful of Covidien lawsuits before a single federal court.
Doyle APC Law Firm. “Hernia Mesh Lawsuits & Settlements, Summer 2020 Update.” Hernia Mesh Lawsuits and Settlements, 10 July 2020, https://www.herniameshlawsuit.org/hernia-mesh-lawsuits-summer-2020-update/.