Kugel hernia mesh lawsuits are settling, thanks in part to a change in defense counsel. The products, manufactured by Davol, are defective because the plastic ring can break off, causing perforation and infections. Left untreated, these injuries can be fatal. Davol has since eliminated the use of the plastic rings, in favor of a bio-absorbable ring.
Now represented by the New York firm Reed Smith, Davol has signaled a change in thinking to a more reasonable approach—these can be very meritorious cases worthy of settlement, and the expense of litigation is unnecessary. There are about 1,000 cases in the Rhode Island United States District Court MDL, and about 1,200 cases in Providence state court (the manufacturer, Davol, is a Rhode Island company). Right now, 4 federal suits have been settled, and one state claim has been settled. This looks to be the tip of the iceberg, as the parties move toward the first scheduled federal court trial in March 2010. That will be followed shortly thereafter by the first state court case in June 2010. The settlements will probably come in rapid numbers, now that discovery is coming to a close and the trials quickly approach.
For more on Kugel Mesh lawsuits and settlements, see our prior blog post.