Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Davol/C.R. Bard Hernia Mesh Multi-Case Management

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence

April 12, 2019

IN RE: DAVOL/C.R. BARD HERNIA MESH MULTI-CASE MANAGEMENT This Document Relates to: ALL CASES

          Donald A. Migliori, Esq.; Jonathan D. Orent, Esq. For Plaintiff:

          Mark T. Nugent, Esq.; Michael K. Brown, Esq.; Eric L. For Defendant: Alexander, Esq.

          DECISION

          GIBNEY, P.J.

         Before this Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel C.R. Bard, Inc. (Bard) and Davol Inc. (Davol) (collectively Defendants) to respond to Plaintiffs' Third and Fourth Requests for Production of Documents. Plaintiffs further move this Court to strike Defendants' objections to Plaintiffs' Requests for Production. Defendants object to Plaintiffs' motions. Jurisdiction is pursuant to G. L. 1956 § 8-2-14.

         I Facts and Travel

         On February 9, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Master Long Form Complaint seeking to recover for injuries resulting from allegedly defective medical devices designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold by Defendants. The medical devices at issue are hernia repair products intended for permanent implantation in the human body. The Plaintiffs include both individuals who have been surgically implanted with these devices and their spouses.

         Defendant Davol, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Rhode Island, is engaged in the research, development, and manufacture of various medical products including the hernia repair devices at issue. Davol is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bard, a New Jersey corporation. On December 31, 2017, Bard was acquired by Becton Dickinson, a third party that has not been joined in this action. Davol became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Becton Dickinson upon completion of the acquisition.

         Between August 2018 and October 2018, Plaintiffs served the Defendants with Plaintiffs' First, Second, Third, and Fourth Sets of Requests for Production of Documents. Between October 2018 and November 2018, Defendants submitted written responses and objections to Plaintiffs' Requests, but did not produce the requested documents or a privilege log. The parties subsequently met and conferred and reached a substantial agreement. However, they were unable to reach an independent agreement regarding two categories of documents: those arising from the due diligence process of Bard's merger with Becton Dickinson, and foreign regulatory documents.

         On December 12, 2018, Plaintiffs moved to compel Defendants' responses to Plaintiffs' Third and Fourth Sets of Requests for Production of Documents. Plaintiffs' Third Set of Requests for Production seeks information concerning this hernia mesh litigation that Defendants sent to Becton Dickinson prior to the merger, while Plaintiffs' Fourth Set of Requests for Production seeks United States and foreign regulatory documents. On February 12, 2019, Plaintiffs moved to compel Defendants' responses to Plaintiffs' First, Second, and Fourth Sets of Requests for Production. Plaintiffs' First Set of Requests for Production seeks documents pertaining to Defendants' product testing and design, contracts with researchers and other third parties and budgeting for Defendants' products, while the Second Set of Requests for Production seeks documents responsive to search terms that accompanied the agreed upon Order of March 31, 2008 in MDL 1842 and R.I. State Court Coordination 2008-9999.

         On February 19, 2019, Defendants objected to Plaintiffs' motions, arguing that Defendants were working as diligently as possible to fulfill their ongoing discovery obligations and that Plaintiffs' motions were either premature or moot. On February 20, 2019, Plaintiffs submitted their reply brief in further support of their motions to compel. On February 21, 2019, this Court heard the parties at oral argument.

         II Standard of Review

         Under Super. R. Civ. P. 26(b), "[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending litigation." Super. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). The fact that information sought may not be admissible at trial is not grounds for an objection to a discovery request. Id. Pursuant to Super. R. Civ. P. 34, a party may serve any other party with a request for documents, electronically stored information, tangible things, or other discoverable information within the scope of Rule 26(b) and may move for a court order if the party that received the request fails to respond. The trial court may impose sanctions upon litigants who refuse to participate in discovery. Super. R. Civ. P. 37(b); see also Senn v. Surgidev Corp., 641 A.2d 1311, 1320 (R.I. 1994) (explaining that "Rule 37(b) . . . affords the court very broad discretion" in imposing sanctions for refusal to participate in discovery).

         It is well-settled that the trial court has broad discretion over matters of discovery. Martin v. Howard, 784 A.2d 291, 296 (R.I. 2001) (citing Colvin v. Lekas, 731 A.2d 718, 720 (R.I. 1999)); see also Bashforth v. Zampini, 576 A.2d 1197, 1201 (R.I. 1990). This discretion extends to motions to compel discovery, which will only be disturbed by the Supreme Court in the event it finds "an abuse of that discretion." Colvin, 731 A.2d at 720 (citing Corvese v. Medco Containment Servs., Inc., 687 A.2d 880, 882 (R.I. 1997)). Likewise, "a trial court possesses the discretion to stay discovery in a civil case until one or more potentially dispositive issues have been decided." Martin, 784 A.2d at 297. In reviewing discovery orders for abuse of discretion, our Supreme Court has adopted a test "to determine relevancy . . . [that examines] 'whether the material sought is relevant to the subject matter of the suit, not whether it is relevant to the precise issues presented by the pleadings.'" Cardi v. Med. Homes of Rhode Island, Inc., 741 A.2d 278, 289 (R.I. 1999) (quoting DeCarvalho v. Gonsalves, 106 R.I. 620, 627, 262 A.2d 630, 634 (1970)).

         III ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.