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90,000 Pelvic Mesh Lawsuits Burden Court, Judge Dismisses 140 Bard Cases

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 27, 2016 ~ Judge Joseph Goodwin Monday dismissed 149 product liability lawsuits naming mesh maker C.R. Bard, ending the plaintiffs’ ability to file another pelvic mesh product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer ever again.

He wrote, “all claims have been compromised and settled.” 

Medtronic and Covidien supplied the mesh to Bard and they were also named in the dismissal, which presumably followed an undisclosed settlement amount.

Judge Goodwin dismissed them with prejudice meaning they cannot be filed again.   wide shot

The multidistrict litigation involving pelvic mesh made by seven manufacturers before Judge Goodwin is the largest ever amassed in one court which, as of today, numbers 90,131 cases.

To lighten the untenable load, numerous cases have been remanded back to state courts across the country or settled and removed from the list.

 

Settlements, Trials  

Last year, C.R. Bard said it would offer more than $200 million to settle 3,000 cases filed by pelvic mesh injured women. Still ahead and filed in Judge Goodwin’s court are 13,429 cases naming mesh maker Bard and claiming injury from its defective product.

The only other major manufacturer which has promised to settle cases is AMS, (American Medical Systems) owned by Endo International. Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson  still plans to resolve the remainder of its 40,000 cases through litigation.

There are also cases naming C.R. Bard filed in numerous states and there are 1,541 cases naming CR Bard consolidated in New Jersey.  See that here.

The first two product liability trials naming Bard were lost by the company.

In 2012, Christine Scott was awarded $3.6 million against the company by a Bakersfield, California jury.  Donna Cisson was awarded $2 million by a Charleston, WV jury in 2013.

Bard filed an appeal on the amount which included $1.75 million in punitive damages but in January, an appeals court upheld the jury’s award.

The appeals court denied Cisson’s challenge to Georgia’s split-recovery statute.  It requires the state to retain 75 percent of punitive damages with the remainder going to Cisson. The Scott case has been paid.

The appeals court also agreed with Judge Goodwin’s decision at trial, specifically that he was right not to allow evidence of the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) approval process that allowed mesh to be sold without assurances for safety and efficacy.

During the Cisson trial, Judge Goodwin described Bard’s attempt to hide its identity in purchasing raw polypropylene resin:

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin

This secretive conduct in an effort to sidestep the MSDS warnings suggests reprehensible conduct, weighting against remittitur.”

The MSDS is the Material Safety Data Sheet accompanies the raw resin and clearly says:

Bard Marlex Mesh MSDS

“Do not use this Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Company material in medical applications involving brief or temporary implantation in the human body or contact with internal body fluids or tissues unless the material has been provided directly from Phillips Sumika polypropylene Company under an agreement which expressly acknowledges the contemplated use.”

See story here.

Cisson and Scott had both been implanted with a Bard Avaulta pelvic mesh, made with polypropylene provided by Phillips Sumika.

Bard is expected to report first quarter earnings Wednesday at 5 pm when it hosts a conference call.  Based in Murray Hill, New Jersey, C.R. Bard (BCR) designs, manufactures and distributes medical, surgical, and patient care devices worldwide.

Join in the conference call here.

 

Background

In February, Bard enjoyed one of the few trial victories in the case of Eve Sherrer in Kansas City, Missouri.   Voting 10-2, jurors rejected the contention that the Bard Align and the Boston Scientific Solyx were defective.  Sherrer had sought $28 million.  This was the longest pelvic mesh product liability trial to be conducted stretching one month over the holiday season.

In February 2015, Bard settled with Debra Wise on the eve of trial. See story here.

Bard is facing in excess of $7 million in jury awards to six plaintiffs.  In October 2014, the company offered to settle 500 cases for $21 million.

 

LEARN MORE: 

See the dismissal here, April 25, Doc # 1903, 1902, 1901, April 25 order dismissing cases #1902;  April 25 order dismissing 49 plaintiffs;   April 25 2016 order dismissing plaintiffs 

February 2015 – Wise v CR Bard, Settlement offered to Wise, terms not disclosed, Implanted with Avaulta Plus Anterior and Posterior BioSynthetic Support System,  Charleston WV
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/new-bard-avaulta-trial-to-begin-in-charleston-federal-court

 

October 2014 – Bard offers to settle 500 cases for $21 million
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/c-r-bard-may-settle-500-cases-for-21-million

 

October 2013- Rizzo v Bard, Case is dropped by the plaintiff and Bard wants $14,000 in court costs from her. Charleston WV
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/c-r-bard-wants-14k-from-linda-rizzo-over-dismissed-transvaginal-mesh-lawsuit

 

September 2013 – Vigil v CR Bard, case settled by Bard for undisclosed amount. Vigil had Avaulta Suburethral Plus. Atlantic City, NJ
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/c-r-bard-settles-second-transvaginal-mesh-case-for-undisclosed-amount

 

August 2013 – Queen v CR Bard, case settled by Bard. She received the Avaulta Solo. Charleston, WV

 

July 2013 – Cisson v. CR Bard, $ 2 million for Cisson. Implanted with Avaulta Plus. Includes $175,000 in punitive damages.  Charleston WV bellwether
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/cisson-2-million-compensatory-and-punitive-verdict-against-c-r-bard-upheld-by-appellate-court

 

July 2012- Scott v. CR Bard, $5.5 million for Scott,($3.6 million against company, remainder her physician), Implanted with Bard Avaulta Plus, Bakersfield California
http://meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk.com/c-r-bard-pays-precedent-setting-first-pelvic-mesh-scott-case-for-3-6-million

 

 

28 Comments

  1. Janet says:

    So Booth Goodwin is running for Governor of WV, what will happen to the 90, 000 mesh cases if he is elected and is removed from the cases?

    • Lori says:

      I have had so many problems with the mesh…including 3 surgeries, numbness, pain, pain with intercourse, infections and much much more. I had my surgery in 2009 and filed a case in 2011, and have now been told that because of the state I live in, my statue of limitations may have ran out. You have 2 years to file in my state and I had my surgery in June 2009, and my claim was file in Oct. 2011. Though my attorney assures me, they are fighting for me, it sickens me that it may be a mute cause. Some of my issues didnt occur until many years later. How can this be allowed? And the Judge in the case needs to stop this lallygagging J&J is doing. I know he cant make them settle, but if J&J paid each woman in a settlement 1 million they would still be coming out ahead. I wish we could boycott all products from J&J but then we would have no bath products. Even the off brands are many times subsidiaries of J&J. This is going on way too long and needs some sort of push by the judge to have it come to a finally for all of us.

      • Leigh says:

        I feel exactly how you feel I’m 41 had surgery in 2008 and did my case in 2010 and I’ve had revised surgery just last summer I have all the problems you have and more I’m almost disabled at my age because of the damage and I pee on myself because there is no sling except for some imbedded in my bladder witch feels like it is starting to hurt me more again …just need help I’m homeless and hurting from this

  2. It really offends me when judges or anyone in the legal system refers to a “burden of the court.” That is on the manufactures, and they should be penalized; not the plaintiffs.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Please do not be confused…. the “burden” description is mine alone… that never came from any judge. We just know this is the largest MDL ever and NO ONE ever predicted it would swell to these numbers…. so I describe that as a burden on the court. Perhaps a poor choice of words but not to imply the women are in any way a burden… Perhaps the mesh makers have burdened women internationally with their experimental procedures launched with reckless disregard for human safety, and frankly and specifically, for women, in my opinion.

  3. sean says:

    I just don’t understand why this keeps getting dragged on. They are just stalling all these cases. They know that they are in trouble so they stall. I am truly disgusted in the judges and the American justice system.

    • Advocate says:

      Sean,

      I understand the frustration that is felt by all the victims and their families. This same frustration is felt in the legal community as well, although for different reasons.

      I’ve said several times over the last 5 years, that this is the first experience most people here, have had with the judicial system. It doesn’t look or feel anything like the old Perry Mason or Madlock TV shows. It can’t be wrapped up in a one hour segment.

      Still, you have a responsibility to educate yourself on how and why the system works the way it does. First off, the judges in the MDL’s are not in the pockets of the companies. They are following the letter of the law, as it was intended. The fairness of litigation, is afforded both sides of a tort action. While it’s plain to a victim that the facts are on their side, it’s just as plain to the defendant, that the same facts support their position.

      There have been women involved in these MDL’s, who have attempted to gain financially, without having suffered for a moment to date. That hurts all of the truly injured in these MDL’s. It also fuels the defense belief that they are being sued without cause. The overwhelming number of cases filed are legitimate. But perhaps you can see how the “few rotten apples” do in fact, spoil the barrel.

      If you do some research on the purpose of MDL’s, you’ll learn they were not set up for anything like this kind of volume. They were not designed to obtain justice for either side. Their intent was to allow the sharing of facts (discovery) and the dress rehearsal (bellwether trials) of what results might occur in trial, hoping to bring about a settlement agreement that would be fair to both sides. Many of the injured here, believe the MDL was designed to try the facts and reach a judicial enforcement. It is the farthest from the MDL function.

      Let me offer a suggestion. Before you blanket judges and the American Legal System as a whole with your disgust, look to other countries and see if those systems afford you anything that looks better than what we have here. Then come back to me and we’ll have an educated conversation on worldwide judicial systems.

      Again, I understand the frustration, but don’t condemn the system because you don’t understand it. It’s like shooting the messenger because you don’t like the message. You are not unique to that practice, as I see it happen far to often in these posts.

      I hope you find the justice you deserve and some peace in your life.

      • Stopmeshimplants says:

        Thank you, Advocate. It is so disheartening to learn that women are trying to cash in on our pain. I appreciate the reminder about our justice system. It is so difficult to comprehend that it takes years for people harmed by mesh to feel some relief of any kind. We just want the pain to go away and for these manufacturers to stop implanting people with this mesh crap. And the bonus would be for the manufacturers to pay for our surgeries and financially take care of our recoveries. Seems like an impossible goal at this point. This whole mess is just sad.

      • sean says:

        I understand that the mdl is for judicial enforcement but when is enough enough. Appeal after appeal for what? They are found guilty why do they need to appeal things so many times.

  4. Toni says:

    Well if this is a dress rehearsal to bring a settlement but it’s not working why are we forced to wait for a real trial. The truly injured like me and many others should have our day in court. If we have no case then we will be dismissed. But as you said many are claiming injury that are not. But until we are heard we can’t get justice deserved. I have gone through 4 surgeries lost a great job and close to losing my home of 20 yrs and on my last leg at 51. I was implanted with this nightmare in 06 and it was passed through FDA in 08 or 09 . Lol wow that’s scary.

    • Advocate says:

      Toni,

      The courts are still hoping the parties can reach settlement. That’s why there haven’t been an abundance of cases remanded back to state courts. When those cases are remanded, they will be put in line with every other type of case waiting for a trial date.
      Again, I’ve stated several times, these cases would take years to be heard. I wouldn’t be surprised to find an average of 5 years wait time in some states. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning.
      In order for you to get to trial, your law firm will need to have a true litigator in the firm. Not all attorneys do trial work, nor should they. Your’s will need to have plenty of money to pay for the necessary experts and endless paperwork that deluge their office. If their staffs are not large enough to handle the case loads, they’ll need revenue to cover the increase in their overhead expenses.
      Some attorneys will pass the case to another firm, better suited we hope, for handling the litigation. This means they’ll need to get up to speed on you as well as your case. Assuming you get through all of this, the last gauntlet might be the most difficult.
      The trial judge will need to understand the medical and technical issues of the device and you’ll need a jury box full of interested and sympathetic jurors. Failures on either of these issues and your chance of failing at trial, go up dramatically.
      I wish it all was as simple as “being heard”. As you can see, this is difficult for everyone fighting on your side.

      • sean says:

        Very true. But it feels like if these companies cared about your health as much as they claim to this wouldn’t be so hard. But they don’t care.

      • Toni says:

        Advocate, You are obviously a smart person either male or female makes no difference. You bring up some good points most of which seem geared
        towards the courts and possibly even the defendents side. We hear talk of
        settlements and talks and none of any of the so called settlements are worth what I have personally paid through this nightmare. What is our quality or now lack there of worth. Apparently not much. How about a lifetime of work to get to a point of making a decent living which you no longer have because you missed to much work. How about the day to day grind of just getting out of bed to try to eat because you hurt so bad you would just assume not have to make the stairs in your 2 story home you have struggled to keep for 20 yrs raising 2 sons on your own. Wow it’s like we all should be happy with anything we can get. We and I sure hope most the others on this site feel the same. Should not be begging for help should not have to remain silent for the torment we have been subjected too. Am I bitter dam right I am. They have taken something that no amount of money can fix or replace. My womanhood my health my self . Surgery after surgery yrs after yrs. You are talking about how long and talking about how tough it is to try a case. Well I am here to tell you Ive already been put through the ringer. If I get not a dime from this I will be dammed if I take some stupid little settlement to shut up. I will die eventually but won’t go out without a fight. These companies have committed terrible acts against us for profit. Yes money would help a lot to get me through the end of life. But selling out for little of nothing is not justice. Justice needs to be served in our case. But I am to the point I don’t belive we will ever be given any type of justice. I hope this rant is wrong but so far I have seen very little that makes me feel we will ever see justice. Enough money to buy a new car will not giv me anywer close to wht Ive lost due to JNJ or any of these manufacturers negligence and greed. I am not a settler Ive worked to long and hard for what has been unfairly taken from me. I am not alone either I read all the post on this daily. I should have a life but like many of us it was taken away.

  5. Jason says:

    A friend of mine lawyer sent this after we asked how the talks were going. They said BSC has suspended all settlement negotiations and that they hope Judge Goodwin will impress upon BSC to go back to negotiation table with the plaintiffs. Anyone else hear this?

  6. Kitty says:

    Hi Jane and thank you so much for all your time and kindness. I was just thinking about how things have changed since Terri Schiavo. Who cares?

  7. Kitty says:

    Thank G-d for Judge Goodwin. Could u imagine having retired judge Greer?

  8. Toni says:

    Sorry Advocate about the rant but I am seeing red and Dam sick and tired of all this and the Justice we will most likely ever get. Justice could really never happen in our cases. Because if there was truly Justice these company heads would be behind bars and really justice would be the daily torment we as their victims have been subjected to. They may understand if they were subjected to the daily pain weve endured from these devices. An eye for an eye would maybe get there attention. But they live their plush lives and could care less because they are making a ton of money on our suffering.

  9. Donna says:

    Im so tired of Boston Scientific . I dislike how they are withholding an agreement to settle for women whom were harmed by the product . I need closure. I have been damaged , I have nerve damage to where sex is not what it once was . I had 2 surg’s , first one was mesh removal because I had so much pain . It felt like I was given birth . Now I have a huge scare on my abdomen that has given me a awful roll because I had to have surgery because I ended up with pelvic floor . They used my own tissue however , I still have issues with my bowel movements because the wall of my rectum has been damaged . Even with surg . I want closure. I want some type of consideration with Boston Scientific settling to help me move on from the nightmare I have encountered . My womenhood has been taken to were having sex will never be given back . How would the men working for the company like it if this has happened to the women they are married to. Also for the women that work for the company how would they enjoy having there life change because of the damage from the mesh product.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Boston Sci may be sending out letters to women soon with settlement amounts. check with your law firm.

      • Leilani says:

        I had a mesh claim and even though I only had one surgery. I had issues for nearly 3 years. I didn’t realize the implant mesh I had failed. When the Dr did the surgery they could not even find the mesh. The special master only paying me 9,000. I appealed and just found out I lost. Once attorney takes his cut, hardly anything left. I suffered and won’t accept that. They can just keep that money. I feel there is no justice here.

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