COVID 19 DELAYS HERNIA MESH TRIALS
The number of hernia mesh lawsuits filed across the country continues to grow. There are currently thousands of cases filed with more being filed every day.
Each year more than a million hernia mesh surgeries are performed in the United States. It is one of the most common surgeries. Hernias can be caused by many things including obesity, genetics, constipation, persistent coughing or, most commonly, by lifting heavy objects.
While hernias may be repaired with sutures alone, most commonly mesh reinforcements are used. Unfortunately, the use of certain hernia mesh products can result in serious complications including, bowel obstruction, fistula development, infection and sepsis, mesh shrinkage and erosion, and organ perforation. When these side effects occur patients often require additional surgeries to remove the defective mesh.
There are currently 3 major Multidistrict Litigations (MDL’s) involving hernia mesh. Bellwether trials are generally necessary before a manufacturer is willing to consider settlement. These initial cases provide valuable information as to the likely value of claims. As you might imagine, COVID-19 has resulted in delays in the progress of these cases.
The Bard MDL is located in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The first Bellwether trial was originally set to commence on May 11, 2020. That trial has been delayed until July 13, 2020.
The Atrium C-Qur MDL is located in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. The first Bellwether trial was originally scheduled to commence on September 11, 2020. The Defense is arguing that the trial should be moved into 2021 due to the difficulty of completing discovery due to COVID 19 limitations. The court has not decided whether to delay the trial.
The Ethicon Physiomesh MDL is located in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The first bellwether trial is currently set for November 2, 2020. Currently, this trial date has not been delayed.