CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Jonathan Orent delivering his closing argument
Providence, RI - A Rhode Island state court jury returned a verdict of $4.8 million dollars on Monday in the first state court trial in the country involving allegedly defective hernia mesh implants according to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff in the case.
Jonathan Orent of Motley Rice LLC, who represents plaintiff Paul Trevino, told Courtroom View Network the jury awarded his client $4.8 million, an amount he claimed will increase to $7.68 million with interest.
The trial initially began on July 28, and jurors heard closing arguments on August 23. Late last week jurors indicated a potential deadlock, but they continued their deliberations after receiving an "Allen Charge" from Associate Justice Richard A. Licht.
Trevino sued Davol Inc., a division of medical device company C.R. Bard Inc. after receiving the Ventralex brand mesh to treat a hernia that developed after surgery for an abdominal injury. His case was closely watched by both plaintiff and defense lawyers due to being the first in the country to go to trial in state court involving hernia mesh implants, following only a small number of trials involving hernia mesh implants in federal court.
The full trial was webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN, and is available for viewing with a subscription to CVN’s online video library which also includes multiple trials involving transvaginal mesh implants.
Trevino’s lawyers claimed Bard manufactured the Ventralex patch with a type of plastic resin that causes an inflammatory reaction in human tissue, and that the patch “buckled” inside Trevino’s abdomen and had to be removed in a subsequent surgery. Plaintiffs in the many hernia mesh lawsuits pending throughout the country claim the devices left them beleaguered with side effects ranging from chronic pain to infections to nerve damage
Bard argued during trial that Trevino’s complex medical history and previous abdominal injury caused his alleged injuries, and that patches like the Ventralex are approved by federal regulators, remain on the market currently, and successfully treat thousands of patients every year without complications.
Troy Kirkpatrick, a spokesperson for Bard, told CVN after the trial that the company planned to appeal the verdict and reiterated many of the arguments made to the jury, describing devices like the Ventralex patch as the "gold standard" for hernia repair.
He emphasized that while the jury sided with Trevino on his negligence claim the verdict favored the defense on claims involving defective design and failure to warn.
"Our hernia mesh products are cleared for use by FDA, and we are confident in both the design of our products and fulfilling our obligation to provide information about both the risks and the benefits of these products in order that physicians, in consultation with their patients, can determine whether those benefits outweigh the potential risks in a particular instance," Kirkpatrick told CVN.
Thousand of similar hernia mesh lawsuits remain pending in state court in Rhode Island, where Bard has its headquarters, and also in federal multi-district litigation consolidated in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio.
The case is captioned Paul Trevino, et al. v. Davol Inc., et al., case number PC-2018-8437 in Providence/Bristol County Superior Court.