Mesh Medical Device News Desk, April 11, 2018 ~ Judge Joseph Goodwin, overseeing more than 104,000 pelvic mesh product liability cases filed in his West Virginia court, will dismiss more than 13,000 non-revision Ethicon mesh cases, allowing them to be refiled if the woman undergoes an attempted mesh removal within five years.
This agreement was reached with Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and allows the statute of limitations to begin again upon her revision date.
JUDGE GOODWIN CLEARS THE DECKS OF NON-REVISION CASES FOR NOW
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), plans to 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 – 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.
For a woman who may have died from mesh complications or suicide from pain associated with her pelvic mesh, before undergoing mesh removal surgery, her case may be over.
A removal or revision is defined by the court as one that involves general anesthesia, not a removal attempt with a local anesthesia in a doctor’s office, sometimes known as, “trimming the mesh.”
Responding to a Motion by Ethicon (ECF #5313), “regarding disposition of non-revision Gynecare TVT Products Cases” Judge Goodwin has agreed to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice pelvic mesh cases, “with the ability to refile in a federal district court of proper venue and jurisdiction within five (5) years of dismissal of the pending litigation should plaintiff undergo a medically necessary Revision Surgery, be recommended for a medically necessary Revision Surgery, or otherwise undergo multiple qualifying procedures described below, within those five years.”
Ethicon, within 60 days of the order, agrees that if a non-revised plaintiff has a revision surgery within five years of dismissal, that the statute of limitations shall begin on the date of that revision surgery. She may then file a second lawsuit without suffering any limitations imposed by the original statute of limitations.
Ethicon further agrees for plaintiffs who have more than one office revision of the mesh and have trigger point injections, vaginal physical therapy or vaginal Valium, will be treated the same as those plaintiffs who undergo revision surgery within five years.
The meshes made by Gynecare include TVT Retropubic and Obturator and Abdominal System, Gynecare TVT Abbrevo or Exact Continence Systems. Meshes no long on the market but sold by Ethicon include Prolift, Prolift +M, Prosima and TVT-Secur, as well as Gynemesh PS and Prolene are included in this order if they are mesh-in-place with no revisions.
“This court is well aware of the issues in this litigation and believes there is significant value to the plaintiff who has not undergone a revision surgery not being required to go forward with a case at this time when there is a possibility that they could be at risk of a surgery in the future”~ Judge Joseph Goodwin
THE OTHER OPTION
Non-revision women have until June 10, 2018 to accept the offer or continue her case with no waiver.
Those who opt not to dismiss her case must deliver by July 30, 2018, a Plaintiff Fact Sheet, documentation of lost wages, documentation of medial expenses and all medical records on her gynecological history for five years before the date of implantation of an Ethicon Gynecare TVT Product.
Plaintiffs must also submit all medical records relating to the alleged injury and to the mesh implant, revision, and any treatment for prolapse and incontinence. See the complete list on pages 9 and 10.
The other mesh manufacturers in this MDL- CR Bard, Boston Scientific, AMS, Cook and Neomedic are not effected by this order.
ETHICON TRIALS IN WAVES 7 & 8 MOVE FORWARD
Ethicon pelvic mesh cases amassed in Wave 7 are set to be heard in a Charleston, WV trial scheduled for on May 15, 2018. Wave 8 cases should be heard in Charleston or another venue in the fall.
The federal court in West Virginia has amassed more than 104,000 transvaginal mesh cases. Ethicon has consistently has the largest case load with in excess of 55-thousand product liability cases facing the healthcare giant, both in the U.S. and abroad, according to its SEC filing. ###
Ethicon Pretrial Order #293, Order Regarding Disposition of Non-Revision Gynecare TVT Products Cases
Pretrial Order #269 – Wave 7 Cases
Pretrial Order #280- Wave 8 Cases