Kugel Hernia Mesh Patch Lawsuit Ends in $1.5 Million Verdict

In spite of the judge denying Christopher and Laura Thorpe’s motion for punitive damages in the 2nd bellwether Kugel mesh trial, a jury awarded the North Carolina couple $1.5 million. The Kugel lawsuit was brought by the Thorpes and alleged that the Composix Kugel hernia mesh patch was defective and caused Christopher Thorpe internal injuries including sepsis. The jury sided with the plaintiffs and ruled that the manufacturers of the Kugel hernia mesh patch has failed to properly warn healthcare professionals and prospective patients of the Kugel patch design defect that made it prone to fail when inserted into the abdominal cavity.
Like many Kugel mesh patch victims, Christopher Thorpe suffered through numerous revision surgeries after the failed patch caused infections and other internal injuries. While the judge ruled against his punitive damages motion, the plaintiff was prepared to prove the following in regard to the Kugel manufacturers willful and wanton conduct:
” * While Bard and Davol were “formally investigating” the cause of ring breaks in Kugel patches in June 2005, the manufacturers were simultaneously making a strong push for territory managers to sell the devices to new hospitals as part of a summer sales contest that generated $4,472,971 in new accounts, including over $1.5 million of growth in ventral hernia repair product sales.
* The manufacturers continued to market and sell Composix Kugel hernia patch products while breaks were occurring for an allegedly unknown reason.
* The Kugel hernia patch recall was issued three months too late because Davol and Bard failed to follow their own procedures.”
While this was the second bellwether Kugel trial in the federal multidistrict litigation, there are more to come. These trials are designed to give both sides a sense of how juries will react to the Kugel lawsuits and trials. These trials may also provide the forum to discuss Kugel settlements in lieu of further litigation.