The Bard hernia mesh multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a group of lawsuits against C.R. Bard for injuries caused by their defective hernia mesh implants, including the Marlex mesh. These hernia mesh lawsuits demand compensation for injuries suffered by people who have had a mesh implanted to repair a hernia. That compensation is meant to cover:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of companionship for the victim’s family.
The MDL consolidates these lawsuits into a single federal court to streamline the process. The Bard MDL is 1 of 3 MDLs currently pending over injuries caused by defective hernia mesh implants. The other 2 MDLs are the:
- Atrium MDL, and
- Ethicon MDL.
In this article, our personal injury lawyers discuss:
- 1. Where is the Bard hernia mesh MDL?
- 2. Who are the judges hearing the hernia mesh cases?
- 3. How can I file a lawsuit in the Bard MDL?
- 4. Bellwether trials in the Bard MDL
- 5. The settlement process
1. Where is the Bard hernia mesh MDL?
The multidistrict litigation against C.R. Bard for its defective hernia mesh implants is being heard in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio. The case was filed in 2018, and is called:
- In re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 2:18-md-2846.
- The Eastern Division, which sits in the Joseph P. Kinneary Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio, and
- The Western Division, which sits in both Dayton, Ohio, and in the Potter Stewart Courthouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Bard MDL is confined to the Eastern Division, in Columbus. The Joseph P. Kinneary Courthouse is located at 85 Marconi Boulevard.
This courthouse was selected for the Bard MDL for 2 reasons:
- It is centrally located in the U.S. and lawsuits had been filed across the country, making the Southern District of Ohio the least inconvenient for many victims, and
- At the time the MDL was created, 8 of the 53 pending lawsuits were already in the District.1
This MDL should not be confused with a consolidated group of state claims. Those lawsuits were heard in Rhode Island. Bard settled the vast majority of them for $184 million in 2011.2
2. Who are the judges hearing the hernia mesh cases?
There are two presiding judges hearing the Bard hernia mesh MDL:
- Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., and
- Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson.
The Honorable Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. was nominated as a federal judge to the Southern District of Ohio by President Clinton in 1995. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate 7 months later. He began serving on August 1, 1996. He became the District’s Chief Judge in 2015.3
Kimberly A. Jolson was appointed to an 8-year term as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Ohio in 2016.
Chief Judge Sargus was selected to preside over the Bard hernia mesh MDL because, at the time the MDL was formed, he was already hearing 6 of the 53 lawsuits pending.4 He also had experience handling another major multidistrict litigation involving drinking water that had been tainted by a chemical plant.5
3. How can I file a lawsuit in the Bard MDL?
Victims of Bard’s hernia mesh implants can file a lawsuit directly into the MDL in the Southern District of Ohio.6 Talking to a personal injury lawyer can be the best way to ensure this is done properly.
All victims will have to fill out a Plaintiff Profile Form.7 This form records important information about your injuries and what happened. It includes:
- Your identifying information, like your address and Social Security Number,
- Whether you are also claiming loss of consortium damages for your spouse,
- What Bard hernia mesh device was implanted,
- When and why the device was implanted,
- Where the implant procedure was completed, including the name of the hospital and surgeon,
- Details on any hernia mesh removal procedures you tried,
- The injuries you suffered from the mesh implant,
- A listing of the doctors you saw during your recovery,
- Your medical history,
- What damages you want to be compensated for, and
- An authorization to disclose your medical records to the lawyers and the court.8
Even though the MDL is proceeding through the Southern District of Ohio, you will have to comply with your own state’s statute of limitations.9 If you file your claim after your state’s statute of limitations has expired, you case can be quickly dismissed.
4. Bellwether trials in the Bard MDL
Three bellwether trials are being scheduled in the Bard hernia mesh MDL. Bellwether trials like these take representative cases in the MDL all the way through a typical jury trial. They are meant to give the plaintiffs and the defendant an idea of how a jury will issue its verdict. The outcome of bellwether trials can have a huge impact on the settlement negotiations.
The first bellwether trial occurred in the summer of 2021, resulting in a victory for Bard; this was not unexpected since the defense chose that particular bellwether plaintiff. Future bellwether trials where the plaintiffs’ attorneys picked the case are more likely to deliver jury verdicts for the mesh victims.10
5. The settlement process
Throughout the MDL process, settlement negotiations are held between victims and C.R. Bard. Settlements aim to compensate victims for the losses they have sustained due to their hernia mesh implant, including:
- Medical expenses, including for the surgical removal of the mesh implant,
- Future medical bills associated with the side effects and medical complications of the implant,
- Wages lost during the recovery process,
- Reduced earning capacity in the future,
- Physical pain, including for the chronic pain often caused by defective implants,
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of consortium for the victim’s family.
Settlements, however, do not include punitive damages for Bard’s decision to continue releasing defective mesh products.
These settlement negotiations are likely to heat up as bellwether trials approach. Those trials give both sides an idea of what juries think victims deserve. They can culminate in a global settlement, which creates a pool of money for all victims.
In MDLs, the global settlement often gets distributed to victims using a matrix settlement or a grid settlement. Plaintiffs in the MDL fill out a plaintiff fact sheet, listing their losses and personal information. Their recovery amount will then likely depend on numerous factors, including:
- Medical history,
- Marital status or the number of children, and
- Whether they needed a mesh removal surgery.
Call us for help…
If you have had a Bard hernia mesh product implanted and are suffering from its side effects, you need legal help. Contact us today to explore your legal options. You may be eligible to join the MDL against Bard and recover compensation for your injuries.
- In re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 2:18-md-2846 (S.D. Ohio, Aug. 6, 2018) (transfer order).
- BioSpace, “Davol Lawsuits to Largely End with C.R. Bard $184 Million Settlement,” (July 6, 2011).
- See Kathy Lynn Gray, “Sargus takes reins as new chief judge in federal court,” The Columbus Dispatch (January 12, 2015).
- See note 1.
- In re: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, 2:13-md-2433. See also note 1 and Penny Barrick, Jonathan Olivito, and Nina Tandon, “Judicial Profile – Hon. Edmund A. Sargus Jr.,” The Federal Lawyer, 46-50 (August, 2016).
- In re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 2:18-md-2846 (S.D. Ohio, Sept. 7, 2018) (Case Management Order No. 1 – Providing for Direct Filing of Cases in MDL No. 2846).
- In re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 2:18-md-2846 (S.D. Ohio, Nov. 19, 2018) (Case Management Order No. 8 – Regarding Plaintiff Profile Forms and Defendant Profile Forms).
- See note 7.
- See note 6.
- In re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, 2:18-md-2846 (S.D. Ohio, Aug. 15, 2019) (Case Management Order No. 10-A – Bellwether Scheduling Order) and Case Management Order No. 28-B. Johns v. C.R. Bard et al, No. 18-cv-01509.