R.I. jury orders Becton Dickinson to pay $4.8 mln in hernia mesh trial

U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration
U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
  • Verdict is largest so far over BD's hernia repair mesh
  • Company faces more than 30,000 similar cases

(Reuters) - Becton, Dickinson and Co's C.R. Bard Inc subsidiary must pay $4.8 million in a lawsuit brought by a Hawaii man who said he suffered serious complications after being implanted with the company's hernia repair mesh, a Rhode Island jury found Monday.

The verdict for Paul Trevino and his wife Earlynn in Providence state court came after a month-long trial. BD is facing more than 30,000 similar lawsuits over its mesh hernia repair devices.

"I couldn't be any happier for the Trevino family," Jonathan Orent of Motley Rice, the Trevinos' lawyer, said in a statement, adding that the jury "ruled in favor of justice."

BD said in a statement that it would appeal the verdict.

"BD's hernia mesh products have benefited thousands of patients over many years, and those patients have improved lives because of them," the company said.

Trevino alleged in his 2018 lawsuit that the so-called Ventralex hernia repair mesh, made of the plastic polypropylene, burrowed into his tissue, causing pain and inflammation and ultimately requiring corrective surgery.

About 17,000 hernia mesh cases are consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in Columbus, Ohio federal court, and most of the rest are consolidated in the state court in Rhode Island, according to BD's most recent financial report.

The Trevinos' case was the first to go to trial in the state litigation. There have been two trials in the federal MDL, one ending in a verdict for BD and the second in a $255,000 verdict for the plaintiff.

Surgical mesh has been the subject of frequent litigation, with MDLs consolidated for similar claims over mesh products sold by Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit and Getinge's Atrium Medical Corp, which last December said it had agreed to settle all claims for $66 million. The MDL against Ethicon remains pending and no trials have yet taken place.

The case is Trevino v. Davol Inc, Providence County Superior Court, Rhode Island, No. PC-2018-8437.

For Trevino: Jonathan Orent of Motley Rice

For Becton Dickinson: Jeff Scott of Greenberg Traurig

Read more:

Becton Dickinson faces first bellwether trial over hernia mesh

Becton Dickinson ordered to pay $255k in hernia mesh trial

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health care law. He can be reached at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com.