Plaintiffs Want Mesh Lawsuits Centralized

Jane Akre
December 22, 2011

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

DECEMBER 22, 2011 -

The Athens Georgia law firm of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. has filed a motion to have various plaintiffs from around the country centralize their defective transvaginal surgical mesh litigation in one federal court – the Southern District of West Virginia.

The three separate but related motions ask for actions against three different manufacturers to be moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia before Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

The action would allow similar lawsuits brought by other law firms to join the litigation reducing the cost of gathering evidence, and eliminating the time and effort that goes into duplicative discovery.

The request in the form of a motion was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation according to a December 21, news release (here).

The law firm (which helps sponsor this website) says Southern District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is already familiar with the issues because of the Avaulta MDL (multidistrict litigation).

If the three separate motions are granted, 83 cases around the country against American Medical Systems (Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings), 41 against Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), and 30 against Boston Scientific Corp. would be consolidated. Attorney Henry Garrard has been involved in transvaginal mesh issue since 2006 and is currently the lead counsel in the Avaulta multidistrict litigation.

Judge Goodwin has since October 2010, overseen pretrial proceedings in the Avaulta (C.R. Bard) Pelvic Support Systems Product Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2187).

Product Liability Lawsuits

Product liability or defective product lawsuits allege that a product was defective in its manufacture, its design or in a failure to warn. If the defect existed when the product was manufactured, it is possible that just one select group of product will be defective. On the other hand, if there is a design flaw, the entire line might be dangerous to use and cause harm to the user. A marketing defect generally under reports or misreports information about the product. The defendant, in this case the mesh manufacturers, are liable when they are shown the product is defective.

Multidistrict Litigation

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is consolidated before a “transferee judge” in one court. Plaintiff cases remain individually active and each plaintiff can have access to the defendant's materials and witnesses gathered during the discovery process. This reduces the work of the court and should bring a settlement sooner. Settlements are tailored to the damage the individual plaintiff has suffered and the number of plaintiffs in the MDL. #

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