Mesh Medical Device News Desk, November 2, 2016 ~ Judge Joseph Goodwin, who is overseeing more than 97,000 defective product cases in his federal court in Charleston, had predicted neither side would like his future rulings if they did not make some effort to settle outstanding transvaginal mesh cases.
Judge Goodwin is making good on his word.
Four hundred of the oldest cases filed against Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary Ethicon, are being readied for trial in federal court in West Virginia.
They are called Wave 4 cases and Judge Goodwin is setting schedules to have these cases readied for trial sometime next year. In a number of pretrial orders (PTO), he has set deadlines for Fact Sheets, Discovery, Expert Motions, Interrogatories, Depositions and more.
All should be completed by May 4, 2017.
Judge Joseph Goodwin was assigned multidistrict litigation for transvaginal mesh cases in January 2012.
The 2,000 original cases has now grown to 97,300 with Ethicon facing 35,924, (as of Nov. 1), more than any of the six other manufacturers.
Judge Goodwin had become frustrated with the slow pace of litigation and has told both sides to get serious about settlements.
In February 2015, he predicted a “rocky path” if settlements were not forthcoming. See a background story here.
Both sides are keeping a low profile on settlements but Boston Scientific and J&J ( Ethicon) are slowest to come to the settlement table. Boston Scientific had 23,242 cases as of Nov. 1.
Attorneys for both sides are being told to use the discovery that has already been generated to prepare for the J&J mesh products that have already gone to trial including TVT, TVT-O, TVT-Secur, Abbrevo, among others.
Each side is limited to no more than five experts per case, exclusive of the treating physicians. A deposition can include the plaintiff’s friends and family members as well as expert witnesses that will be used at trial. Interrogatory questions posed to each side are limited to 10 as well as 10 requests for admission per plaintiff.
Future status conferences will set for Daubert motions, that is a motion that limits the presentation of an expert on the basis that he or she is not an expert in their field. See Daubert Motion here.
Motions to seal confidential documents will be heard on or before February 9, 2017. Discussions on venue should be submitted to the court by that same date. Cases could be transferred to the federal district court as an alternative unless they remain in the federal court in Charleston, WV.
Judge Goodwin will set the trial date. This order was entered into the court October 25, 2016.
PTO #243 Wave 4 cases J&J, Now facing scheduling deadlines, October 25, 2016.
Pretrial Order #238 severs the husband’s complaints without prejudice, meaning they can be filed again.
Pretrial order #240, October 11, 2016, directs those case still pending against J&J to provide the following on or before November 14, 2016. Proof of product identification, operative reports, including revisions and removals, and/or a certificate to Ethicon confirming thee documents have been previously provided to Ethicon. That information will go to Butler Snow the law firm representing Ethicon.
PTO #239 gives deadlines for responses and replies to Daubert motions for Wave 3 cases.