Wilkinson Stekloff Delivers Pre-Trial Win for Medtronic and Covidien in Hernia Mesh Litigation

A U.S. District Court Judge handed down a decisive victory for Medtronic and Covidien in litigation arising from claims that one of their hernia mesh products has design and manufacturing defects, and that the company provided inadequate warnings about the risks of the hernia mesh.

Wilkinson Stekloff Founding Partner Brian Stekloff led the victory in Northrup v. Covidien (C.D. Cal.) by obtaining key admissions from Plaintiff’s expert that were quoted extensively in the Court’s opinion dismissing the case. Brian Stekloff also led oral argument before Judge Dean Pregerson on Defendants’ motions to exclude the opinions of Plaintiff’s expert and for summary judgment. Judge Pregerson agreed with Defendants’ arguments, and, on November 24, ruled that all of Plaintiff’s expert’s opinions were inadmissible under Daubert and that Plaintiff’s claims could not proceed in the absence of admissible expert support. Judge Pregerson dismissed the case in its entirety.

Northrup v. Covidien had been set to go to trial in May 2022.

Brian led the Wilkinson Stekloff team handling the case, with partner Ralia Polechronis managing multiple aspects of the products liability litigation. Attorneys from DLA Piper and Williams & Connolly served as co-counsel for Defendants, including taking the lead role in drafting the motions. Along with Brian Stekloff, Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson oversees Medtronic’s trial strategy in its hernia mesh cases. Earlier this year, the team had secured, on the eve of trial, a voluntary dismissal with prejudice in another matter, Jorden v. Covidien (N.D. Cal.), after filing similar Daubert and summary judgment motions that remained pending at the time of dismissal