Providence County Courthouse, Rhode Island
By Christina Grube
(MASS TORT NEWS) The Rhode Island state court hernia mesh bellwether trial versus medical device producer Bard yielded a plaintiff’s victory with the jury awarding $4.8 million to plaintiff Paul Trevino.
The Rhode Island trial began in July with lead plaintiff lawyer Jonathan Rent of Motley Rice LLC alleging that Bard knew the polypropylene resin used in their Ventralex hernia mesh caused damage to the patient’s body tissue, yet continued selling the product. Orent of Motley Rice LLC explained that the Ventralex patch caused his client so much pain that Mr. Trevino underwent a second surgery to have the mesh removed and later received a bowel resection from the damage the resin caused.
“4000 people hurt severely by this device in the last 3 years alone. 25 percent, one in four people that were implanted with this device had another surgery to take it out.” Orent said. “That’s what the evidence in this case is.”
The Bard defense team denied the medical-giant knew their products to be damaging and noted that all surgeons inform patients of the potentially severe side effects and risks that come with hernia mesh surgery.
“It’s still on the market today,” said Defense attorney Jeff Scott of Greenberg Traurig. “It was cleared by the FDA. It’s never been recalled.”
Bard remains involved in multiple MDLs over negligence and faulty product design. The Ohio-based Bard MDL no. 2846 remains the largest active hernia mesh MDL with over 16,000 claims. Bellwether trials began in 2021 with Bard winning the first round. Though the Bard victory surprised many, Ronald V. Miller noted a historic pattern of big pharma winning the first Bellwether trial. However the second Bellwether trial in April 2022 yielded a victory for plaintiffs. The court awarded Mr. Antonio Milanesi and the late Mrs. Milanesi a $255,000 settlement – $250,000 in compensatory damages and $5,000 loss of consortium.