Bard Hernia Mesh Update: Stinson Bellwether Trial Advances Despite Defense Motion
In a noteworthy advancement within the Bard multidistrict litigation (MDL), the presiding court has confirmed that the Stinson bellwether trial, designated as the third of its kind, is scheduled to proceed on October 16, 2023.
On May 24, 2023, the defendants submitted a legal memorandum asserting that both plaintiff Aaron Stinson and Jacob Bryan, the fourth bellwether trial plaintiff scheduled for January 2024, no longer serve as suitable “representative” bellwether plaintiffs. The defendants posited that the forthcoming jury trials involving these plaintiffs would no longer yield substantial insights applicable to the broader MDL case pool, recommending their complete substitution with new plaintiffs. The defendants’ argument highlighted that Mr. Stinson’s additional surgery in May, involving the removal of a second Bard hernia device and subsequently his right testicle and spermatic cord, presented “new facts” that were not emblematic of the majority of MDL cases. They also stated that Mr. Bryan’s potentially evolving medical condition, with additional treatment and possible surgery on the horizon, rendered his case a “moving target.”
On June 20, MDL Judge Edward Sargus ruled against this motion. The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) contended regarding Mr. Stinson that they plan to demonstrate that all subsequent injuries, including the Bard Mesh surgical removal and orchiectomy, stemmed from the initially defective PerFix Plug implant. The Committee asserted no claims against the Bard Mesh implanted in 2017 and removed in May 2023. Judge Sargus set limitations on the PSC from disclosing certain information regarding the Bard Mesh, while permitting the defense to propose that the recent surgery and Bard Mesh could be the intervening causes of Mr. Stinson’s orchiectomy.
Furthermore, Judge Sargus dismissed the defense’s characterization of Mr. Bryan’s symptoms as “new injuries,” noting that Mr. Bryan had reported groin and testicular pain in a 2019 deposition, thereby the defense was already aware of these complaints.
This effectively undermined what appeared to be the defense’s strategy to delay the impending bellwether trials.
Subsequent to these developments, on July 13, Judge Sargus sanctioned a joint stipulation that established deadlines for the submission of additional post-operative medical records for Mr. Stinson, further depositions, the delivery of the parties’ revised expert reports, supplemental expert depositions, as well as additional Daubert motions and motions in limine.
The next Case Management Conference in this ongoing MDL is slated for August 29, 2023, where the parties will continue to prepare for the trials ahead.