The Kugel mesh implant lawsuits suffered a minor blow when a Rhode Island jury rejected a plaintiff’s claim that he suffered severe internal injuries as a result of problems with the CR Bard’s Composix Kugel hernia patch.
In the case, Plaintiff’s lawsuit alleged that after his hernia surgery, his hernia patch broke causing Plaintiff severe injuries when the patch became intertwined with his hernia. Plaintiff alleged that the patch caused a number of internal problems, including bowel obstruction and stomach pain. After a two-week trial, the jury found the defendant negligent but also found that Plaintiff failed to show causation. In other words, the jury was not convinced that the negligent design was the true cause of Plaintiff’s injuries.
While this case is a win for the defendant, it is also a win for plaintiffs in that the jury found negligence. In the vast majority of these cases, plaintiffs will be able to show a causal relationship between the defect and the injury. I suspect that there will be an eventual settlement of the vast majority of these Kugel hernia patch lawsuits at some point and establishing negligence should further the possibility of settlement of the 3,000 plus remaining lawsuits.
C.R. Bard ultimately agreed to pay $184 million to settle over 2,000 pending Kugel lawsuits.