June 18, 2013 ~ Just call it Multidistrict Litigation No. 2440.
As if more than 23, 386 lawsuits (as of June 12) filed against synthetic transvaginal mesh makers were not enough, cases filed against Cook Medical have just been added to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidated in one federal court in West Virginia.
Cook is now the sixth mesh manufacturer whose product liability lawsuits are set to be heard in the federal court in Charleston.
On June 11, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered the transfer of 13 complaints naming Cook Medical from eight different districts to now be overseen by the Honorable Judge Joseph. R. Goodwin.
The other manufacturers include Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems, Coloplast and C.R. Bard.
On July 8, the first of four bellwether cases against C.R. Bard is scheduled to go to trial.
Last June C.R. Bard lost a case filed by Christine Scott in California state court. Bard was ordered to pay Scott and her husband $5.5 million. That decision has been appealed by Bard.
Cook Medical makes the Surgisis Biodesign Tension-Free Urethral Sling, Surgisis Biodesign Anterior Pelvic Floor Graft, Surgisis Biodesign Posterior Pelvic Floor Graft, Cook Urological Stratasis Urethral Sling or Stratasis Tension Free Urethral Sling.
Here is their website.
While most of the vaginal mesh products causing complications are made from polypropylene (PP), Cook has positioned itself as a specialist in biologic grafts, or dermis-based mesh. The Surgisis sling is made using the small intestines of a pig. Women implanted with Cook Medical mesh allege debilitating problems such as pain, erosion, nerve damage, contraction and infection, among other complications.
The company says it is infection-resistant making it safer than other mesh.
Cook Medical prepared a Special Report in 2007, Dispelling Myths About Biologic Grafts. It largely talks about the new evolution of biologic mesh used for hernia repair combining the “best attributes of biologic grafts and synthetic mesh.”
Multidistrict litigation is the consolidation of lawsuits in one federal district court when there is a common question of fact. The judicial panel votes to transfer and consolidate similar cases so that they can move through the court more efficiently.
The first Pretrial Order (here) states a pretrial conference will be held August 1, 2013.
Cook Medical, Press release 2006