Bard Hernia Mesh Maker Must Pay $255,000

Jane Akre
April 15, 2022

Second Bellwether Hernia Mesh Case Results in Win for Injured

April 15, 2022

Today an Ohio jury awarded a hernia mesh injured man $255,000 for his injuries. After an 18-day trial, the jury agreed the mesh had a design defect but rejected strict products liability and failure to warn.

The jury did not award punitive damages.

In 2017, Becton, Dickinson, a New Jersey-based company, acquired C.R. Bard, the company that produced the Ventralex Hernia Patch mesh implanted in plaintiff Antonio Milanesi in 2007. Milanesi claims the mesh harbored an infection and a bowel abscess which required a second surgery and left him permanently injured. 

Milanesi says he was not told about the known complications and risks associated with Ventralex. 

Multidistrict Litigation

The Milanesi lawsuit (2:18-cv-01320) is just the second tried in MDL (multidistrict litigation) in Columbus, Ohio, federal court before Judge Edmund Sargus. Last September, the first bellwether, Johns v Bard, ended in a jury verdict for Bard after a five-week trial. That case was a defense pick and attorneys argued it was not typical of the injury profile for mesh hernia mesh plaintiffs.

There are more than 16,690 defective product cases naming Bard hernia mesh pending in the Southern District of Ohio MDL and almost as many pending in a Rhode Island state court which also names defendant Davol, a subsidiary of Bard/Becton Dickinson. Plaintiffs say the polypropylene mesh was defectively designed and the company failed to warn doctors of its dangers.

Plaintiffs claim the mesh migrates, erodes into organs, and causes and harbors infections and autoimmune diseases. Patients say they live with chronic pain and infections. Sepsis can result when the mesh migrates in the body. 

Hernia mesh is made from the same polypropylene that comprises pelvic mesh. That litigation became one of the largest MDLs (multidistrict litigation) ever in the U.S., where 107,000 women filed their cases. The West Virginia MDL was disbanded in 2018, after six years during which cases were either tried or settled. Those that remained were remanded back to state court. 

Johnson & Johnson is another manufacturer of polypropylene mesh for both hernia and pelvic use. Another MDL in Georgia is pending with J&J hernia mesh cases. No trials have taken place there so far. 

Milanesi et al v. C.R. Bard Inc et al, No. 2:18-cv-01320, and the MDL is In re: Davol Inc/C.R. Bard Inc Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, No. 2:18-md-02846, both in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio.

Bard family of hernia meshes

Ventralex Hernia Mesh

Ventralex is similar to Bard’s three others subject to defective product actions – Ventralight ST, Prefix, and 3D Max.

Bard claimed the Ventralex was “substantially equivalent” to the Bard Composix Kugel Mesh Patch, containing the same memory recoil ring.

Bard settled 2,600 Kugel defective product cases for $184 million in 2013.

It is multi-layered polypropylene and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), a thermoplastic polymer, on one side, intended to face the intestines in the intra-abdominal space, so it does not adhere to the body.  

Gor-Tex is a brand of expanded ePTFE and PTFE is used to coat non-stick pans.

It contains two layers of polypropylene mesh and a memory recoil ring component which is left implanted along with the polypropylene mesh. In this case, the complaint says the ring is used to place the mesh but its presence can cause the mesh to deform and buckle and the forces on the mesh can cause the ring to break. 

Bowel perforation is the fear when that happens.


Ohio MDL 2846

Rhode Island Superior Court- Bard litigation

Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation - Pending MDLs

Law firm Miller & Zois have the rundown on who appeared at trial.

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