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Judge Settles Hundreds of Transvaginal Mesh Suits Naming C.R. Bard

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 21, 2017 ~ Judge Joseph Goodwin is overseeing more than 103,659 (as of today) product liability cases involving transvaginal mesh.

Three hundred product liability cases naming C.R. Bard have been dismissed just since Monday.

Earlier this year Judge Goodwin  told lawyers he would like to have the cases filed against seven mesh manufacturer resolved this year.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Just since Monday, Judge Goodwin made good on that promise, at least as far as Murray Hill, New Jersey mesh maker, C.R. Bard is concerned.

The judge has issued 20 orders moving nearly 300 pending cases against  C.R. Bard toward resolution.

These appear to be cases represented by law firms that are not on the steering committees and may have a limited number of product liability cases naming Bard over its transvaginal mesh.

Once resolved, they are then taken off the trial docket, where as of today, there are 15,459 product liability cases filed against Bard (with 9,660 closed).

Bard has the fourth highest number of cases behind Ethicon, Boston Scientific, and AMS (American Medical Systems).

Look up cases using PACER in Bard 2:10-md-2187.

Filed since Monday, June 19 are:

  • Document #4001 is an order which grants the motion to dismiss all claims, cross claims, counter claims and third party claims for 75 plaintiffs. These cases are now dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot ever be filed again.

The orders name as defendants both Bard and Tissue Science Laboratories Limited, Sofradim Production and Covidien LP, who have reportedly all agreed to a settlement model.

Sofradim Production SAS is the French biotechnology company affiliated with Covidien medical device maker headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.  Sofradim manufactures implants used for hernias and weaves polymers to create mesh.
https://www.b2match.eu/h2020-health-Lyon2014/participants/37

Tissue Science Laboratories is a privately held British medical device company, which is a division of Medtronic.

  • Another order on the same date, #Bard 3996 , dismisses three cases with prejudice against Bard, filed by three law firms with one case each.
  • In Document #Bard  4002,  133 plaintiffs agreed to settlement with Sofradim Production SAS, Tissue Science Laboratories, Covidien and C.R. Bard.
  • Another Motion to Dismiss, Doc #4003, says defendants, including Sofradim Production SAS, Tissue Science Laboratories Limited, Covidien and CR Bard, have agreed to settle three claims, however, the claims which include Cook Medical will be transferred to that court.
  • In Doc #4005, (see it #Bard 4005), Sofradim, Covidien, Tissue Science Labs and Bard, agreed to a settlement model for two plaintiffs.

The court will not conduct further proceedings on these two cases.

  • Document #4004 dismisses one Bard case with prejudice provided she accepts the settlement by October 31, 20017. After that time if a settlement is not finalized the Court will have a hearing to determine the case’s future. See it here. #Bard 4004 

In the meantime, it’s on the inactive docket.

  • Document #4000, lists 33 plaintiffs,  who along with defendants – Bard, Covidien, Tissue Science and Sofradim, have settled all claims and jointly move the court to dismiss Bard and Covidien as defendants.Other defendants, including Ethicon, will remain in these actions and plaintiffs will continue to prosecute these actions.  Within 14 days of the motion, they are required to file an amended short form complaint against the remaining defendant, Ethicon and they will be transferred to the Ethicon MDL 2327.
  • Document #Bard 3997 also dismisses the usual suspects but nine plaintiffs have an additional action against AMS and will continue with those claims and are required within fourteen days to file an amended short form complaint in the AMS (American Medical Systems) MDL 2325.
  • Docket #3998, filed June 19, has the 21 plaintiffs dismissed with prejudice Sofradim, Tissue Science and Covidien, presumably because they have reached a settlement.

Often a law firm will represent to the court it has reached a settlement before the final resolution with its client. Clients still have the option to decline a settlement if they have not committed in writing to accept it.

  • Doc #3999 is a joint motion filed June 19, 2017, to dismiss defendants with prejudice including Sofradim Production, Tissue Science Laboratories and Covidien as settlement has been reached. The parties move to dismiss with prejudice and terminate the cases from the docket of this MDL.  Three plaintiffs are named.
  • Doc #3995 joint motion to dismiss certain defendants with prejudice and plaintiffs’ motion to transfer MDLs, in this case Boston Scientific Corp, which remain in the action. After 14 days they must file a short form complaint in the BSC MDL 2187 that no longer include Bard and Covidien entities.  Seven cases are included here.

Including June 19 are six proposed orders by Judge Goodwin.

  • Docket #3994 involves one plaintiff represented by a smaller law firm saying Bard has agreed to a settlement with the plaintiff therefore it is unnecessary to conduct further proceedings or to keep the case on the active docket. Both parties have until September 30, 2017 to finalize a settlement and submit a dismissal order.
  • Docket # 3993, gives both sides until December 31, 2017 to submit a settlement and dismissal order concerning one case. Again, it says both sides have agreed to a settlement model with regard to Bard.
  • Doc #3992 is the same giving a deadline of on or before December 31, 2017 to finalize the settlement and submit a dismissal order for one case.
  • Docket #3991 also gives until the end of the year for a settlement to be finalized for one case.
  • Docket #3990, again until December 31, one case to settle.
  • Docket #3989 is given until the end of the year to finalize a settlement and submit dismissal orders for one case.

The Friday before, June 16, there is a rash or orders dismissing cases from the C.R. Bard docket as well.

So far Bard has settled 149 cases which were dismissed in April, while 3,000 lawsuits were part of a 2015 settlement of $200 million.

Earlier this year, C.R. Bard removed its pelvic meshes from the market as it is in the process of being sold to Becton Dickinson for $24 billion.

Last November, Judge Goodwin asked both plaintiff and defendant sides to come up with 50 cases each to prepare for trial.

Donna Cisson’s $2 million verdict against Bard in 2013 was upheld by an appellate court a year ago.

During that trial, in an unusual move, Judge Goodwin noted that Bard attempted to hide its identity in purchasing raw polypropylene resin from the supplier.

“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 which clearly says “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 the Mesh News Desk story here.

Christine Scott’s Bard pelvic mesh case also survived appeal and the company was on the hook for $3.6 million to the plaintiff resulting from her July 2012 trial in Bakersfield, California.  ###

24 Comments

  1. Never the Same says:

    The MDL website may show cases closed but they are not really. I have been offered a settlement and have not yet decided if I want to accept. My case is showing closed. According to my law firm (idiots) my case is not closed but IDO – My response was then mark it IDO. I may take the crumbs just to move forward in my life. The physical pain and drain is enough, then add dealing with mental minions is more than I can handle.
    Thank you Jane for being our support and information central.

    • Jane Akre says:

      Yes I’m afraid that is happening….. you are marked as settled and they hope you WILL settle. Then for some law firms the pressure begins – No one will ever represent you; This is the best offer you will get;. Check out the story I did on law firms still in the transvaginal mesh fight. Call one of them. Your lawsuit belongs to you! For the law firms, there may be a limit to how much they can put the defendant to pay. They are playing hard ball afterall.

      • Bejah Butterton says:

        Jane, Please point to the piece you refer to that you did. I for one need to review it. Thx dear.

        Bejah

  2. Pamela says:

    Just looked up my case and it is showing closed, I have received not a settlement offer. Does this mean they dismissed my case?

    • Jane Akre says:

      I would be outraged if my case showed closed and there was no offer forthcoming. What do they say? Become the squeaky wheel!!!!

      • TortSupport says:

        Unfortunately, lack of communication by some firms and threads like this are causing some misinformation like this. The cases that are being “closed” are being ADMINISTRATIVELY closed. This does NOT mean that the file is done or the claimant has to accept the offer they have been given or are not receiving an offer to begin with. What it means is that the firm is in negotiation discussions with the defendant and all discovery is stayed (stopped) while those discussions continue. The plaintiffs/plaintiffs firm do not have to worry about any PreTrial Orders (PTOs) that are filed during that time period that may have related to their file had it not been closed. These closures were prompted by Judge Goodwin. Unfortunately, there are some plaintiffs that have yet to be able to begin negotiations with their respective defendants. So that Judge Goodwin can ascertain WHICH plaintiffs they are (so that they may have a voice), he needs to identify which plaintiffs are already in the middle of settlement talks. The best way to do that was administrative closures. At that point, a plaintiff will get an offer and either accept it and have her case DISMISSED or not accept it and the case will be ADMINISTRATIVELY re-opened. I can certainly understand why it would cause concern to a plaintiff who saw their case closed without an explanation, but it is purely a clerical tool. If you have your case closed and you have NOT heard from your attorney, I encourage you to call because it should mean that they are in discussions with your defendant about resolving your case and you can request an update as to how those negotiations are proceeding. I hope this helps assuage concerns among mesh plaintiffs regarding this matter.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Hi Tort- Thank you for the additional information. We agree that the plaintiff should be kept in the loop as to what is happening with their case. Let me ask you your thoughts about the cases that were never filed by the law firm, even a short form. What message of commitment to the case does that send to the defendant? Was that case then clearly only prepared for settlement. from a strategic point of view, that would seem to be a weaker position from which to negotiate as opposed to a case that was a) filed, b) worked up for trial c) ready to be tried. I’m not a lawyer, as you know, so any clarification here would be appreciated.

          • Bejah Blue says:

            What kind of written communications are law firms required by law to send to clients notifying them of events pertaining to their cases?

    • Pamela says:

      I reached out to my law firm and was told it could be fall before I hear anything.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Pamela- Did they file your case? if not why not and what court was it filed in? Just curious how many law firms are NOT filing cases. I’m afraid the current court of 103,000 is actually much higher….

  3. Tiffany M says:

    Hello Jane,
    Do you know what the name of the 3rd party company/person is who reviews the medical records once a settlement is reached?

    • Jane Akre says:

      Different law firms use different settlement companies, if that is what you are referring to….is my understanding. Im not a lawyer

      • DY says:

        Never the same I feel like your case is like mine. I agreed to the little settlement so that I also can move forward.
        Tiffiny, I think its called the special mastèr.

        • Barb says:

          The special Master is the one who actually is in charge of sending out the final checks. It appears many here are very dissatisfied with the settlement offers. I too ended up taking the offer however remember it is based solely on your proof and medical proof of your implants, medical documentation to support all health issues relating to the mesh. We all sure wish and feel our cases are worth more however consider taking to court fee $300, 000 plus other monies taken ect, and of course not knowing what a jury would do!! Personally I feel the Special Master is/has been doing his very best and getting settlements on a timely basis. I got my first check September 2016, medical money left exactly what they said December 24th 2016, justwaiting for monies from the hold back fund for 2 other surgery’s performed after the deadline. I can only speak for myself I have been surprised on the time. God Bless You All.

  4. Payton says:

    Hi Jane, can you tell me how I can tell if my case is still opened are closed . I have a case number but that’s all I have mine is in south jersey is there any way I can find out if a court date or anything is on the books other than trying to get this information from my attorneys . Also are all of C.R. Bard cases going to be forced to settle since they are selling their company. How do you know which court house to call to get any information on your case does it go by the county you live in . Thank you .

  5. Olivia says:

    Hello Jane-
    I am new here… just doing some research as I am also in the middle of a mesh claim.
    Where can I look to see what my claim says? And I feel as if I’m completely clueless as to what is going on and what I should do, what I should accept, etc.
    I really need some help.
    I never thought this would become anything so I didn’t stress it too bad, just dealing with the pain and problems… as I still have the mesh in my body as well.
    I’m so lost… any advice or guidance would mean the world to me!
    Thanks!

    • Jane Akre says:

      Hi Olivia-

      If you are filed in the MDL, multidistrict litigation in Charleston West Virginia…. you Google “SodistrictWV” and it will pull up the MDL. On page one you will see all of the manufacturers. Click on yours. At the top it says Numerical List of Cases, click on that. When it finally opens, there is a search bar at the top. Put in your last name and you should see yourself. As I’ve said, many cases were never filed, not even requiring the modicum of effort by law firms. Your paperwork should have your case number and/or the actual court you are filed in. You do want to know if the law firm even filed you case. Don’t stay in the dark about that- become proactive and seek out your case!

  6. LostinShuffle says:

    My case is filed in NJ. I have had multiple surgeries and now multiple permanent complications. I don’t understand the difference between my case and the cases that have settled for millions (that I read about). I fear that my settlement will be peanuts. Why? TVM surgery halted my high paying career and I’m disabled now. Why do those other cases get settled and so much press?

    • Jane Akre says:

      So much press?? pray tell where? they endured the rigors of a trial, which is no picnic, in fact it’s hell. I know you all would rather do that then be insulted with an offer. As you know, there are no guarantees with a trial. Some poor women walked away with nothing. Those who won endure years of appeals. It is very insulting to the injured that industry continues to treat those its injured that way. Their lawyers are not cheap… but mesh makers would rather spend money on their lawyers than on doing the right thing for their consumers they’ve injured, just my opinion of course.

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