Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, overseeing bellwether mesh trials

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, overseeing bellwether mesh trials

In an April 2 order, issued by Judge Joseph Goodwin who is overseeing thousands of transvaginal mesh lawsuits, all sides in transvaginal litigation are being called to Charleston, West Virginia June 2.

Here is the order as it pertains to Ethicon. Four other manufacturers, minus Neomedic, have also been called to the federal courthouse.

Here is the order.

This is a status conference but Judge Goodwin is calling all who have the authority to reach make major decision including any settlement offers from Ethicon, Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Coloplast and Cook Medical.

” It is ORDERED that (1) defendant client representative(s) with full authority to make all decisions related to MDL 2326; (2) in house counsel for defendant(s) with full authority to make all decisions related to MDL 2326; (3) settlement counsel (if any) for defendant(s); and (4) lead counsel for plaintiffs and defendant(s) attend the status conference. ” 

Judge Goodwin is overseeing more than 70,000 pelvic mesh defective product civil actions.  In January 2012, the similar injury cases were consolidated in his federal court by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).  Since then, the case load has swelled beyond the capability of any single court to deliver timely resolution.

Last February, Judge Goodwin brought representatives from all sides to confer on possible settlements with the thousands of plaintiffs. See background story here and here.

In February, Judge Goodwin asked the industry to stop fighting women in court and to bring about some resolution to these cases.  He predicted a rocky path for both sides if settlements were not forthcoming.

So far, American Medical Systems has vowed to settle its pending cases. Unofficial reports from Mesh News Desk readers are the settlements leave little or no compensation behind for the injured after legal fees and any outstanding debt is settled.

A dozen or so cases prepared for trial have been quietly settled by mesh manufacturers with no disclosure of the amount and no admission of liability.

At trial, seven manufacturers have faced jury awards in excess of $100 million, however Ethicon ( Johnson & Johnson) Bard and Boston Scientific have appealed those verdicts. #