The federal court in Charleston, West Virginia, that has more than 33,000 defective product claims consolidated in something called Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), now has a new section on the website for each MDL bellwether trial.
Each of six transvaginal mesh manufacturers will face off with plaintiffs in four jury trials intended to test legal theories and determine the future of these product liability cases. A loss for the defendant mesh manufacturer might signal it’s time to offer a settlement rather than continue to lose in front of a jury. Often that becomes simply a result of a cost vs benefit formula, derived by accountants.
The Honorable Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is overseeing all of the transvaginal mesh cases filed in his court.
Four manufacturers have posted a schedule for bellwether cases – Ethicon, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard and American Medical Systems. The two smaller manufacturers, Cook Medical and Coloplast have not set bellwether trial dates.
Here is the website:
The next case is November 8 at 8:30 a.m. the fourth of four cases against C.R. Bard. The first (Cisson) ended with a $2 million verdict for Mrs. Cisson. See background story here.
The second case (Queen) settled for an undisclosed amount. Background story here. The third case (Rizzo) was dropped by the plaintiff allegedly because of problems with an expert witness. The Jones case set for November 8 will be the last bellwether naming C.R. Bard.
In June 2012, Christine Scott won her lawsuit filed in California state court naming the Bard Avaulta mesh. She and her husband were awarded $5.5 million. That case is on appeal.
The next trial date is Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) on February 10, 2014, with the second trial scheduled for June 23, 2014. Last February, plaintiff Linda Gross was awarded $11.1 million in her trial naming Ethicon and its Prolift mesh. That case is on appeal.
AMS, American Medical Systems has April 7 and May 5th as the date for the two bellwethers scheduled so far. Last June, Endo Health Solutions settled an undisclosed number of AMS cases for $55 million. Background story here.
So far the defendant mesh manufacturers have not won a single case before a jury whether in state or federal court.
There are 33,730 product liability and failure-to-warn lawsuits consolidated in this federal court. Elsewhere, thousands of individual cases have been filed in state court around the country.
Additionally, mesh manufacturers are facing litigation in Canada, and the UK.
The Court informs Mesh News Desk (MND) there is no judicial order appointing a settlement committee on the website, despite a well-circulated story from Bloomberg that settlement talks are underway.
Transvaginal mesh is a polypropylene-based product implanted in a woman’s pelvic region to shore up sagging pelvic organs.
In July 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that the risks of transvaginal mesh may exceed the benefits. Mesh is still used in women to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in the U.S. and around the world.
So. District of West Virginia Court Here
Bloomberg, Bard, Mesh Makers Said to be in Settlement Talks, September 30, 2013
FDA Safety Communication: UPDATE on Serious Complications Associated with Transvaginal Placement of Surgical Mesh for Pelvic Organ Prolapse, July 13, 2011