Kelsey L. Stokes


A National Leader in Hernia Mesh Lawsuits

Recognized as a national leader in hernia mesh litigation, Attorney Kelsey Stokes spends countless hours guiding fellow plaintiffs’ lawyers across the country on case evaluation and filing strategy in multiple jurisdictions. In many cases involving hernia mesh, patients claim the polyester in the hernia mesh products causes inflammation, and is more brittle and significantly more prone to problems than alternatives. These patients also claim that there are defects in the collagen barrier or polylactic microgrips used in some of the hernia mesh products.

Kelsey was named Co-Lead in the lawsuits against Medtronic’s Covidien and was instrumental in the consolidation process of more than 4,700 cases to a Massachusetts federal court. She was also named Lead Trial Counsel in the first two bellwether cases in the Bard Multidistrict Litigation.

Prior to leading the hernia mesh docket, Kelsey played an integral role in litigating FNJ’s transvaginal mesh docket to a successful resolution. Her work in the various transvaginal mesh MDLs gave her a wealth of knowledge overlapping with the knowledge required to successfully litigate hernia mesh cases.

Selected to Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars: 2022


Kelsey’s Start at the Firm

Kelsey Stokes first joined the law firm of Fleming | Nolen | Jez, L.L.P. in 2010. She practices primarily in the areas of mass tort litigation, products liability, and complex commercial litigation, including appellate practice.

In September 2018, Kelsey was appointed by the United States Southern District of Ohio as Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in MDL No. 2846, In re Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation.  Kelsey Stokes also serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of MDL 2753, In re Atrium Medical Corp. C-QUR Mesh Products Liability Litigation.  In addition to her leadership roles at the federal level, Kelsey Stokes was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in three New Jersey state court consolidated actions against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc.: MCL 627, In re Physiomesh Litigation; MCL 630, In Re: Proceed Mesh Litigation; and MCL 633, In re Prolene Hernia System Mesh Litigation. Kelsey Stokes was also elected Co‑Chair of the American Association for Justice Hernia Mesh Litigation Group by her peers.

Kelsey Stokes has regular speaking engagements, sharing the knowledge she has gained studying the science and legal issues applicable to mesh litigation with other national mass tort lawyers. You can view one of her interviews regarding hernia mesh on YouTube. 

Litigating throughout the country, Kelsey Stokes has taken hundreds of depositions, including depositions of expert witnesses, prescribing physicians, implanting physicians, and corporate witnesses.  Kelsey has defended the leading experts in their fields as well as hundreds of plaintiffs injured by various medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs.  She regularly argues at hearings throughout the country and coordinates large-scale briefings on behalf of the MDL and FNJ’s clients, including at the appellate level.

Attorney Kelsey Stokes also managed the firm’s GranuFlo docket from case filing to resolution, successfully navigating clients through the settlement claims process.   In addition to the above litigations, Kelsey Stokes performed considerable work on the Wright Hip and Accutane Litigations as well as Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), in which she was co-counsel in the first TRT trial in Cook County, Illinois.

Kelsey Stokes’ practice also includes complex commercial litigation in federal and state court, and arbitration, resulting in multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts.  Examples include arbitrations where she represented healthcare providers in contractual and payment disputes with insurers; a massive Ponzi scheme; and an off-shore commercial oil dispute.  Kelsey Stokes’ experience also extends to catastrophic aviation accidents.


Education & Memberships

Kelsey Stokes earned a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center, where she served as Chief Managing Editor of the Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law.

Kelsey Stokes is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Western, Eastern, and Southern Districts of Texas, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth and Sixth Circuits.  She is a member of the American Association for Justice, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and Houston Trial Lawyers Association.

Kelsey Stokes was spotlighted in a notable Bloomberg Law article discussing the importance of women breaking into leadership positions in federal multidistrict litigation, especially in mass tort cases. (click here to read the article)


Memberships & Associations

  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Houston Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice