Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit

Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuit 2018-03-12T15:47:47+00:00
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Injured patients are filing individual personal injury lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers.

  • Ethicon Physiomesh
  • C.R. Bard hernia mesh
  • Pain, infections and revision surgeries.

Our experienced attorneys are pursuing substantial financial damages on behalf of patients and families who were harmed by defective mesh devices.

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24/7 Free Mesh Consultations

(866) 623-9135

We're investigating individual hernia mesh lawsuits. It's the right thing for patients.

— Laurence Rosen, Esq.

Injured patients are filing individual personal injury lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers.

  • Ethicon Physiomesh
  • C.R. Bard hernia mesh
  • Pain, infections and revision surgeries.

Our experienced attorneys are pursuing substantial financial damages on behalf of patients and families who were harmed by defective mesh devices.

24/7 Free Mesh Consultations

(866) 623-9135

We're investigating individual hernia mesh lawsuits. It's the right thing for patients.

— Laurence Rosen, Esq.
"Great Results!" Laurence walked me through every step in the process.
Rosen Injury Lawyers Reviewed by Taylor on .
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

If you've heard about any of the recent hernia mesh lawsuits, you're probably wondering if these claims have been filed as class actions. The answer is no; mesh attorneys are filing individual personal injury lawsuits on behalf of their clients. The situation is somewhat different in Canada, where at least two recent class action lawsuits have involved hernia mesh injuries, but under United States law, individual personal injury lawsuits are the best option for injured patients.

There's No Hernia Mesh Class Action. Here's Why.

In most cases, class action isn't the right choice to pursue claims that involve severe personal injuries, extraordinary medical expenses and long-term pain and suffering. After all, those are deeply personal injuries. Class action isn't a deeply personal way to pursue a lawsuit.

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In a class action, one or two people, who are known as "representative" plaintiffs, file suit on behalf of a much larger group of individuals. In the beginning, none of these "class members" have any idea that a lawsuit has been filed on their behalf. Meanwhile, the representative plaintiffs argue in court that they were injured by a defendant's wrongdoing (usually through the loss of a fairly-minor financial sum), but that hundreds or thousands of other people were injured in the same way.

The Benefits & Risks Of Class Action

The power of class action is that it allows huge groups of people, who have all lost small amounts of money, to pursue a lawsuit. Without banding together, their individual damages just wouldn't be sufficient to off-set the costs of litigation. As a group, however, their combined damages can quickly reach into the millions of dollars, making the prospect of pursuing a lengthy court case far more attractive.

The downside is that most of the class members have no control over the case; many of them won't even learn about the lawsuit until after it's over.

At this point, it should be clear that hernia mesh lawsuits, which involve unique and horrific personal injuries, deserve an individualized approach. That's something that class action doesn't offer.

The Process Of Multidistrict Litigation

But we're still left with the fact that thousands of people are filing very similar lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers. We call this a "mass tort," when hundreds or thousands of individual plaintiffs file suit over the same issue.

In most cases, mass torts begin in a decentralized way. Someone in Alabama files a lawsuit over hernia mesh injuries, then someone in Florida files a similar lawsuit and the process repeats until there are multiple similar lawsuits scattered across the country.

At any time in this process, the plaintiffs or the defendant can petition the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the cases. This panel of federal judges will review the cases and analyze their similarities. If the lawsuits share similar "questions of fact and law," the Panel can decide to centralize them, transferring all of the federal lawsuits to a single federal court.

How MDL Empowers Individual Plaintiffs

This transfer creates a Multidistrict Litigation, or MDL. In their new court, the lawsuits will move through pre-trial legal proceedings as a group. The litigation is guided by a single federal judge, appointed to the position by members of the JPML, who can issue controlling orders that apply to each case equally.

A Plaintiffs' Steering Committee is selected to handle high-level legal strategy and evidence gathering techniques, while individual plaintiffs' attorneys focus on the unique aspects of their own clients' cases.

For obvious reasons, centralization of this sort makes things more efficient. By putting the entire litigation under one judge, Multidistrict Litigation eliminates the possibility of conflicting rulings. There's no need for a corporate employee to be deposed numerous times, since the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee can schedule a single deposition and share the information with everyone else.

And patients who have yet to file suit, in most cases, can file their claims directly in the MDL court, join the consolidated litigation and share in these benefits immediately.

Consolidation Encourages Settlement

MDL is the standard legal mechanism for handling mass torts that involve pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. Beyond their basic efficiency, Multidistrict Litigations are structured to encourage settlement. Many MDL judges schedule mandatory settlement conferences, hoping to avoid a protracted series of court trials.

And because the cases are no longer scattered across multiple federal courts, the defendants can begin to think rationally about settling all of the lawsuits at once (in what is known as a "global" settlement). At the same time, the plaintiffs have gained a significant degree of leverage during settlement talks, since they're working together, not alone.

MDL is good at what it does. Most cases that end up in a Multidistrict Litigation reach settlement. Lawsuits that aren't settled can be sent back (or "remanded") to their original court for further proceedings, but that's comparatively rare.

The Bard Composix Kugel Mesh MDL

The recent Multidistrict Litigation around C.R. Bard's Composix Kugel Mesh is a good example. Between 2005 and 2007, Rhode Island-based medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard issued multiple safety recalls for the hernia mesh, citing a product defect that left patients at risk of severe harm.

Eventually, nearly 3,000 Composix Kugel Mesh lawsuits had been consolidated in the US District Court of Rhode Island, where a federal judge chose to schedule a slate of "bellwether" trials. These initial trials produced mixed results; the first court case was won by C.R. Bard, while the second ended in a $1.5 million verdict for the plaintiff.

Bard Settles For $184 Million

That was enough information to structure settlement conversations. Both sides in the dispute gained an understanding of where they stood in the case. The $1.5 million verdict put C.R. Bard on watch; the company could lose a lot of money by taking each case to court individually. The initial trial loss, on the other hand, told plaintiffs' attorneys to temper their expectations somewhat. Further negotiations brought both sides to a mutually-acceptable resolution; the cases were settled for around $184 million (an average settlement of $70,769 per plaintiff).

A similar process may now be taking shape in the US District Court of Georgia, where hundreds of lawsuits filed over Ethicon's Physiomesh hernia patch have been consolidated. It's far too early to say whether or not the Physiomesh lawsuits will end in a settlement.

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