Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuits Overview
Hernia mesh is used in thousands of hernia repair surgeries every year. Studies now suggest that hernia mesh products may be defective because they move, shink, and dissolve after surgery. Patients have suffered severe health issues, including pain, infection, and the need for revision surgery.
Injured patients are filing lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers, including C.R. Bard and Ethicon. The lawsuits claim that these companies failed to warn patients about the risks of hernia mesh.
Have you or someone you love been harmed because of a defective hernia mesh device? You may have the right to file a hernia mesh lawsuit against the manufacturer. Contact Rosen Injury Lawyers for immediate legal assistance. Our attorneys are pursuing compensation for patients who have been harmed because of defective mesh devices.
Hernia Mesh Manufacturers Face Tens of Thousands of Lawsuits
Tens of thousands of injured patients in the United States have filed lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers. These are not class action lawsuits. Instead, each injured hernia mesh victim files his or her own individual claim. Some of these hernia mesh cases have been merged into what are known as Multidistrict Litigations, or MDLs.
There Are No Hernia Mesh Class Action Lawsuits
When a medical device fails, thousands of patients can suffer the consequences. These patients may all share the right to file lawsuits against the device manufacturer. In some situations, it’s appropriate to create and pursue a class action.
A class action exists when one or two individuals file a lawsuit on behalf of a group of people. The members of the class have all suffered very similar injuries for similar reasons. Rather than litigating individual claims, the members of the class join together. They pursue compensation with a single case.
When the class action is tried, the plaintiff argues that:
- They’ve been injured because of the defendant’s conduct or product, and
- Hundreds or thousands of members of the class have also been harmed in the same way.
Benefits & Risks of a Class Action Lawsuit
There are risks and benefits involved in joining a class action.
Benefits of a Class Action. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to file a lawsuit if the cost of a trial will exceed the money you’ll recover. A class action removes this obstacle. Groups of people who have all suffered small financial losses can join together and pursue compensation as a class. The combined damages of all class members can make filing a lawsuit worthwhile.
Risks of a Class Action. You give up individual control over your case when you join a class action. Whether or not you’ll recover compensation will be entirely dependent on the outcome of one lawsuit. If the class action is not successful, you won’t be able to get the money you deserve.
Hernia mesh lawsuits involve unique and horrific personal injuries. They deserve an individualized approach. That’s something that a class action doesn’t offer.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Consolidated into MDLs
Class actions aren’t the only option when thousands of people file similar lawsuits against hernia mesh manufacturers. These lawsuits can also be consolidated into what are known as Multidistrict Litigations. MDLs have the benefit of allowing plaintiffs to retain full control over their individual lawsuits.
MDLs begin in a decentralized way. Injured patients begin to file hernia mesh lawsuits in their home states. Over time, hundreds or thousands of similar hernia mesh cases exist in federal courts across the country. When similar cases exist, the plaintiffs or the hernia mesh manufacturers can ask the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the cases.
Several federal judges sit on the Judicial Panel. When an MDL is requested, they’ll review the individual cases to determine what they have in common. If the lawsuits all have similar questions of fact and law, the Panel can approve the request for an MDL. Multidistrict litigation means that the hernia mesh cases are centralized and transferred to a single federal court.
How MDL Empowers Individual Plaintiffs
When an MDL is created, the individual lawsuits are consolidated to be heard before a single federal judge. At the beginning of the process, the lawsuits will move through pre-trial litigation as a group. The federal judge overseeing the process can issue orders that apply to all of these cases equally.
Since the cases are similar, a Plaintiff’s Steering Committee is selected to help the MDL succeed. The Committee handles high-level legal strategy and evidence gathering techniques. Anything developed by the Committee can be used to help each individual case. The attorneys handling the individual lawsuits focus on unique aspects of their client’s own cases.
Centralizing similar hernia mesh lawsuits makes litigation more efficient. Plaintiffs in an MDL combine and share resources during the pre-trial and discovery processes. This allows both the defendants and plaintiffs to save time and money. For example, witnesses generally only need to be interviewed and deposed once, rather than thousands of times. Similarly, only one court will have to address the issues presented by the parties.
While plaintiffs collaborate during the pre-trial processes, each individual case is heard on its own. The result of one case will not necessarily impact the result of another. However, the results of early MDL cases – known as bellwether trials – can be used to assess the strength of other case and determine how much those cases may be worth.
Are you out of luck if you file your hernia mesh lawsuit after an MDL has been created? No. If your case is similar, you can generally file your claim directly in the MDL court. You’ll join the consolidated litigation and enjoy the benefits right away.
MDLs Encourage Settlement
MDL is a standard for handling mass torts that involve defective medical devices. Not only are they efficient, but they’re also designed to encourage parties to settle privately. In fact, many MDL judges schedule mandatory settlement conferences. Litigation only proceeds if injured hernia mesh patients and manufacturers can’t find a mutually agreeable resolution.
When hernia mesh lawsuits are spread out across the country, it can be difficult for manufacturers to think about resolving all of the cases at once. After the cases are consolidated, however, it becomes easier to think about settling.
Manufacturers tend to be more inclined to settle when they’re approached by multiple victims at once who have worked together to strategize their cases. The majority of cases that end up in an MDL are settled.
Hernia Mesh MDLs
More than 50,000 lawsuits have been filed against hernia mesh manufacturers in the United States. Many of these cases have similar facts and legal issues. They have consolidated into MDLs to streamline litigation.
Bard Composix Hernia Mesh MDL
In 2011, more than 3,600 Bard Composix hernia mesh lawsuits were consolidated in a Rhode Island federal court. The Bard mesh lawsuits were filed after it was discovered that the Composix mesh had a manufacturing defect that caused the device to injure internal organs after surgery. Bard agreed to settle most of those cases for $184 million. The MDL has since been disbanded. Many of the unresolved cases are proceeding in a Rhode Island state court.
Bard Polypropylene Hernia Mesh MDL
In 2018, plaintiffs in 55 Bard polypropylene lawsuits filed a petition to have their cases consolidated into an MDL. These lawsuits allege that polypropylene devices manufactured by Davol, a subsidiary of Bard, caused internal adhesions, infections, and inflammation. The Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ultimately approved the plaintiff’s request. The cases have been transferred to the Southern District of Ohio, where they will be heard before one federal judge. As of April 2020, there were more than 4,000 cases pending in MDL No. 2846. The first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin in May 2020.
Atrium C-QUR Mesh MDL
In 2016, hundreds of Atrium C-QUR hernia mesh lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL in a New Hampshire federal court. Injured hernia repair patients in these cases allege that Atrium’s mesh device triggers inflammation in the body, which leads to debilitating adverse health events. The first cases in the Atrium C-QUR MDL are scheduled to begin in May 2020.
Ethicon Hernia Mesh MDL
In 2017, an MDL was created to handle more than 1,200 Ethicon Physiomesh lawsuits. Lawsuits from across the country were consolidated into the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Many of these lawsuits were filed after it was discovered that Ethicon’s Physiomesh device had a high rate of failure. The first of the Ethicon Physiomesh MDL cases is scheduled to begin on June 22, 2020.
Have you been harmed by a defective hernia mesh device? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact Rosen Injury Lawyers to learn about your legal rights and options. Our experienced hernia mesh injury lawyers can help you fight to recover the money you deserve. Call our law firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.t