Kelsey L. Stokes
PRODUCT LIABILITY & COMPLEX COMMERCIAL LITIGATION ATTORNEY IN HOUSTON
A National Leader in Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
Selected to Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars: 2022
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 allege polymers (typically polypropylene or polyester) in the hernia mesh products causes excessive inflammation and fibrosis (i.e., scarring and adhesions), which cause catastrophic injuries in the bowel when placed ventrally and chronic pain in the groin when placed for an inguinal hernia. These products typically have added defects, which exacerbate the problems caused by the underlying polymer. Added defects include defective barriers that are supposed to protect the bowels from the dangerous polypropylene or polyester but fail to do so. Other defects include microgrips such as those found in the Covidien Progrip device that act like hooks or Velcro, making the deivce difficult to remove. Some devices have multiple layers and three dimensional shapes causing more inflammation such as the Bard PerFix Plug device.
Kelsey Stokes was recently named Co-Lead Counsel in the MDL involving Covidien’s hernia mesh device and was instrumental in consolidating those cases in the District of Massachusetts.
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. That MDL has over 18,000 cases consolidated there, where Kelsey recently served as lead trial counsel in the first two bellwether cases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Attorney 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.
Attorney 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)