The MDL is closing. Any new filings will have to be in state court, according to a June 21 order issued by Judge Joseph Goodwin in each of seven pelvic mesh MDLs filed in his federal court in Charleston, West Virginia.
In the largest MDL, Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Judge Goodwin writes in Pretrial Order #304, filed June 21, in the Ethicon MDL #2327 that since January 2018, his court has requested cases no longer be transferred to MDL 2327.
On June 19th, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation entered a Minute Order to that effect.
“The court ORDERS that plaintiffs may no longer direct file claims against Ethicon, Inc. or Johnson & Johnson or any related entities in the Ethicon MDL (as set forth in PTO # 118) or in any other pelvic mesh MDL assigned to the court.”
~ Judge Joseph Goodwin
Other MDLs have the same order – C.R. Bard MDL 2187; American Medical Systems MDL 2325; Boston Scientific MDL 2326; Coloplast MDL 2387; Cook Medical MDL 2440; and Neomedic MDL 2511.
What does this mean for future mesh cases? A plaintiff law firm will have to file in state court, either the state where the manufacturer is located or where the plaintiff lives.
It is unknown whether the plaintiff will be able to share in the "discovery" that has already been gathered to prepare these cases for trial. For a plaintiff law firm, it can take hundreds of thousands of dollars to work up discovery in pursuit of a case, so theoretically, the MDL system short-cut the preparation time.
Before the doors close, the MDL will be the setting for two Wave trials, Wave 7 and 8, against Ethicon.
Federal MDL court should be concluded with discovery by October and made trial ready in a June 13th order by Judge Goodwin. See PTO 303 here.
Ethicon, Johnson & Johnson, is still facing Wave 7 trials of about 150 pelvic mesh-injured women to be heard in this West Virginia federal court. The final settlement conferences are scheduled for August 1 with trial set to begin August 14.
At one time, the MDL contained 104,749 cases representing plaintiffs filing pelvic mesh cases against seven manufacturers. Beginning in 2018, the trickle of new cases slowed to a crawl.
The cases of Carolyn Lewis v. Ethicon, Donna Cisson v Bard, Jo Huskey v Ethicon as well as Tyree v. Boston Scientific, among others have all been heard in the Charleston courtroom.
MND has covered those cases from the courtroom! Use the Search Bar to pull up more on those cases.
Additionally, in the Ethicon MDL, thousands of cases were dismissed with prejudice because they were non-revision cases. See MND story here.
In Pretrial Order #293, issued Wednesday, April 11, federal Judge Joseph Goodwin, overseeing thousands of defective product pelvic mesh cases amassed in multidistrict litigation (MDL), announced the court would dismiss more than 13-thousand Ethicon mesh cases where the plaintiff has a mesh-in-place with no attempted removals, also known as revisions.
There are many reasons a woman may not have her pelvic mesh removed – the expense, compromised health, a risk of going under anesthesia, a new complication to her health, a warning from her doctor that the risks of revision outweigh the benefit – all might preclude having a mesh removal. Now that may count against her.
In compromise language, Ethicon agreed for plaintiffs who have more than one office revision of the mesh and have trigger point injections, vaginal physical therapy or vaginal Valium, would be treated the same as those plaintiffs who undergo revision surgery within five years. ###
MND, April 2018, Judge Goodwin to dismiss Thousands of Ethicon Non-Revision Cases