CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Jonathan Orent delivering his opening statement
Providence, RI - A Rhode Island jury has heard opening statements in the first trial in state court involving allegations that widely used hernia mesh products are supposedly defective.
Defendants Davol Inc. and C.R. Bard face accusations that their Ventralex brand hernia mesh implant utilizes polypropylene resin which supposedly causes adverse tissue reactions. Plaintiffs in hernia mesh cases argue the devices have left them beleaguered with side effects ranging from chronic pain to infections to nerve damage, and that companies like Davol and Bard allegedly sold the devices despite knowledge of their risk to patients.
Davol and Bard deny the allegations, maintaining hernia mesh helps many patients without complications, and that the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries are the result of other surgeries and medical conditions.
The full trial, including all witness testimony, is being webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
During opening statements on July 28, attorney Jonathan Orent of Motley Rice LLC, who represents plaintiff Paul Trevino, described to jurors how Trevino developed a hernia at the incision site for major abdominal surgery he underwent in the early 1990’s.
Trevino underwent surgery to repair in the hernia in 2007 without a mesh implant, but the procedure failed, and in 2008 he had a Ventralex Hernia Patch implanted, which initially seemed successful.
However by 2017, Trevino returned to the hospital in extreme pain due to a new unrelated hernia. During the ensuring surgery, doctors allegedly discovered the Ventralex patch had migrated to Trevino’s bowel and caused numerous injuries ultimately requiring removal of the patch and a bowel resection.
Representing Davol and Bard, attorney Jeff Scott of Greenberg Traurig LLP argued Trevino’s bowel obstruction and other injuries resulting from the original abdominal injury he suffered in the 1990’s and the following surgery and were exacerbated by other pre-existing conditions.
Numerous trials involving transvaginal mesh have done to trial in state and federal courts over the last decade, but only a small handful of cases to date involved mesh implants designed specifically to treat hernias as opposed to to the pelvic organ prolapse that some women experience. Many of the previous pelvic mesh trials in state court can be found in CVN’s online trial video archive.
Trevino’s trial is the first hernia mesh case to take place in any state court with the previous mesh trials to date taking place in federal court. Thousands of hernia mesh cases have been filed in Rhode Island, where Bard has its headquarters.
The ongoing trial before Associate Justice Richard Licht is expected to take weeks to complete and will rely heavily on expert witness testimony from both sides. Given that this is the first opportunity for a state court jury to hear this testimony, the case has drawn intense scrutiny from both plaintiff and defense attorneys keen to learn how the first state court jury verdict in a hernia mesh case could influence the contours of any future large-scale settlements.
The case is captioned Paul Trevino, et al. v. Davol Inc., et al., case number PC-2018-8437 in Providence/Bristol County Superior Court.
E-mail David Siegel at email@example.com