Mullins v. J&J Pelvic Mesh Case of 37 Plaintiffs to be Rescheduled
Mesh News Desk, March 9, 2016 ~ While details are yet to be issued, Mesh News Desk has learned that the Mullins v. J&J trial scheduled for April 11, 2016 in federal court in Charleston, WV has been rescheduled.
The case is named for the lead plaintiff, Terreski Mullins.
Mullins, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc. et al. (Case No. 2:12-cv-02952) was the first “Wave” case that would have heard 37 plaintiffs in one trial before judge Joseph Goodwin, who is heading the multidistrict litigation.
They were consolidated into one trial because of their similarities with a goal of moving cases through the court more swiftly.
All of the women in Mullins had been implanted with Johnson & Johnson’s TVT (transvaginal tape) and all were from West Virginia. Even though they had been implanted by different doctors, their injuries from defendant, Ethicon/ J&J pelvic mesh offered enough similarities to hear them in one case.
A “wave” of plaintiffs clusters them because of similarities in an attempt to try a mass of cases in a crowded venue.
The multidistrict litigation in federal court in West Virginia now has in excess of 87,000 cases, more than any other MDL ever assembled.
MAM (Mesh Awareness Movement) had planned a rally outside the Byrd federal courthouse during some or all of the trial.
Those plans are on standby.
Plaintiffs Must Agree to Defense Medical Exams
What is forthcoming about the Mullins case is seen in PTO (Pretrial order) # 214. All plaintiffs must be subjected to medical exams by doctors for the defense.
PTO # 214- Ethicon Wave One cases and Defense Medical Exams or DME. On February 18, 2016, Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert granted in part and denied in part a Plaintiffs’ Motion to define the scope of the DME (defense medical exams).
What was decided is that Defense must pay for travel and the hotel expenses of Plaintiffs. Making doctor appointments on the weekend to make it more convenient for a work schedule was denied.
The doctor must be qualified and that proof must be provided to the plaintiffs. Invasive testing of the plaintiff is not required unless she agrees and receives informed consent. Otherwise she must submit to a pelvic exam, external ultrasound, lab work, x rays, and a urodynamic testing.
Plainiffs’ request the pelvic floor ultrasound be performed only by a highly specialized physician with highly specialized equipment and only after a discussion with plaintiffs’ counsel was denied. As long as the technician is qualified and certified, the testing should be acceptable, wrote the judge.
Plaintiffs request that the examination be audio-recorded was denied.
Ethicon attorney, Christy Jones, had motioned (Mullins Doc #256 Defense) that the deposition document request by Plaintiffs for defense medical expert, Kimberly Kenton, MD, was too broad and burdensome.
Dr. Kenton was scheduled to be deposed February 18, 2016. #
Developments in Selection and Trial of Bellwether Cases, January 2012, by Paul D. Rheingold
The attorney says the name “bellwether” is so named for the lead sheep in a flock which wore the bell.
Mesh News Desk, MAM rally planned
Mesh News Desk, June 2015, 37 Plaintiffs Face Trial in WV