CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Jonathan Orent delivering his closing argument
Providence, RI - A Rhode Island state court jury heard closing arguments Tuesday in the first trial in state court involving allegedly defective hernia mesh implants.
The trial, which got underway in late July, involves claims that defendant, Davol Inc., a division of C.R. Bard, used polypropylene resin in their Ventralex brand hernia mesh implant despite allegedly knowing the chemical causes damage to human tissue.
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 is being webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
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. Doctors implanted a Ventralex patch in 2008, but years later it had to be removed after allegedly causing damage that Orent claimed ultimately required Trevino to have a bowel resection.
Orent told jurors that the ring around the exterior of the Ventralex patch can buckle and contract, causing internal injuries that force many patients to undergo a subsequent surgery to remove it.
He suggested Bard knew the patch presented a risk to patients, and that clinical outcomes in recent years support that conclusion.
“4000 people hurt severely by this device in the last 3 years alone. 25 percent, one in four people that were implanted with this device had another surgery to take it out.” Orent said. “That’s what the evidence in this case is. Trust your eyes. Use your judgment. Use your common sense.”
Representing Bard, Jeff Scott of Greenberg Traurig accused the plaintiffs team of cherry-picking anecdotal outcomes involving the Ventralex and ignoring the vast majority of patients using it without side effects.
“It’s still on the market today. It was cleared by the FDA. It’s never been recalled,” he said.
CVN screenshot of defense attorney Jeff Scott delivering his closing argument
Scott argued Trevino’s failure-to-warn claim couldn’t succeed, because Trevino supposedly received extensive information from his treating physicians about the possible risks associated with hernia surgery.
He walked jurors through Trevino’s complex medical history involving multiple surgeries to treat his initial abdominal injury and subsequent hernias, and that his injuries resulted from those events and not the insertion of the Ventralex patch.
“We have a safe and effective device that was extensively tested,” Scott said. “Bard had appropriate warnings, Mr. Trevino received appropriate warnings, and there is no mystery about what caused his injuries.”
The jury remained in deliberations as of Thursday afternoon.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org