About 2,600 Kugel hernia mesh lawsuits have reached a settlement.
At a hearing last Thursday, the lawyers for C.R. Bard told the MDL judge that of the 3,400 to 4,000 cases in inventory, there has been a settlement with over 100 plaintiffs’ law firms. The remaining lawsuits – many of which are very serious injury cases – will continue to proceed towards trial although the conventional wisdom is that most of these cases will also eventually reach a settlement. But cases that are set for trial are subject to an expedited discovery schedule. The court underscored the obvious: these cases are costly to try so if a settlement can be achieved now, that is a good thing.
Often, when mass tort cases reach a global settlement, the remaining cases are the best cases which plaintiffs’ believe have higher value than the rough justice settlement groupings of individual cases. These groups also tend to contain the true believers – people who many not have the best cases but just believe they are entitled to a great deal of damages. The harsh reality is that many lawyers flee the true believers who do not have cases that justify spending the fortune these cases require.
This case has gone the way many mass tort cases do; a few bellwether trials – which the parties split in the Kugel mesh cases 1-1 – leads both parties to understand that the cases are not slam dunks for anyone. This leads to reasonable settlements that reflect to true value of the cases.