Parties involved in the Covidien hernia mesh multidistrict litigation report that nearly 6,000 cases have been filed in federal and state courts. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits accuse Covidien of manufacturing and distributing defective hernia mesh products. The defective hernia mesh devices have allegedly caused patients to suffer severe injuries. Like previous hernia mesh lawsuits before it, the Covidien MDL and state litigation is growing at a rapid pace.
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Formed Covidien MDL
In June 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred 73 Covidien hernia mesh cases pending in seven different districts to the District of Massachusetts. This was the second time the JPML had received a request to consolidate Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits. The JPML denied the motion to centralize these cases back in July 2020 because only twelve actions were pending at that time.
However, the JPML recently agreed to centralization, as Covidien argued that the number of cases has dramatically increased since 2020 and will continue to grow significantly. When the JPML announced the transfer, the panel noted an astounding 4,700 cases filed in Massachusetts state courts, with another 25 claims filed in Minnesota courts. This swelling state litigation and the prospect of additional cases convinced the JPML to create MDL-3029. In the transfer order, the JPML noted that these claims share common allegations that defects in Covidien’s hernia mesh devices can lead to health complications. Patients report experiencing adverse health effects that hernia mesh requires revision surgery, including:
- Chronic pain
- Internal bleeding
- Organ perforations
Covidien Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Continue to Gain Traction
Recent filings have indicated that cases filed in Massachusetts state courts have increased from 4,700 lawsuits to nearly 5,700 since June 2022. Furthermore, the Covidien MDL now has 134 claims, according to the MDL statistics report released on October 14, 2022.
As Covidien hernia mesh lawsuits barrel ahead, the plaintiffs and defendants have reached a stalemate regarding the completion of discovery. Plaintiffs have proposed April 8, 2024, as the deadline for discovery completion, while the defendants have pushed September 30, 2023. In a submission addressing outstanding case management issues, plaintiffs requested courts grant them 18 months to conduct discovery rather than less than a year.
Covidien MDL to Follow Predecessors
Covidien is not the only company that struggles with hernia mesh litigation. Past and current multidistrict litigations have dealt with defective hernia mesh products. Aside from Covidien, several other manufacturers have faced substantial litigation concerning their faulty hernia mesh devices. Individuals impacted by hernia mesh implants have filed lawsuits against C.R. Bard, Ethicon, and Atrium Medical Corp in state and federal courts. Lawsuits against these mesh companies number in the thousands. Attorneys for Covidien hernia mesh claims anticipate that the Covidien MDL has the potential to reach such heights, given the thousands of cases filed in state courts.