NLJ Top Defense Win for 2004 in the first trial in medical device serial litigation.

06/10/04

W.D. Tex. -- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

Pharmaceutical Products

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Most reasonably complex product liability cases take two to four weeks to try.  A case like Crowson v. Davol Inc. – where plaintiff claimed that defective surgical mesh used to repair an inguinal hernia caused him to become sterile – normally would not be an exception.  Indeed, the case involved a type of mesh that had been used hundreds of thousands of times and, thus, had come to define the standard of care in the repair of inguinal hernias.  And, of greater significance, it was the first of its kind to be tried.

But the rule held only until federal district court judge Sam Sparks informed the parties that they had no more than ten hours each to present the entire case to a jury.  So with $20 million in alleged damages and a critical precedent at stake, Hollingsworth LLP attorneys literally had a clock ticking as they sought to persuade a Texas jury that the hernia mesh was not defective and did not cause plaintiffs’ alleged injuries.  And that is precisely what they did.

Hollingsworth LLP attorneys pared the case to its essential elements and, in the ten hours allotted to the defense, focused primarily on cross-examining plaintiffs’ experts to debunk plaintiffs’ liability and medical causation theories.  After deliberating a mere fifty-five minutes, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Firm’s client, one of the nation’s largest medical device manufacturers.  Following the verdict, about two dozen related cases were voluntarily dismissed.

The result earned the Firm a National Law Journal Top Ten Defense Wins award for 2004.  More importantly, it vindicated a valuable product for the client and the medical community alike. 

Hollingsworth LLP regularly tries product liability cases – sometimes under the most unusual circumstances.  No matter what the circumstances, we appreciate that litigation strategies often intersect with business strategies, and we know how to advance these objectives in tandem.