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Transvaginal Mesh Cases in MDL – Who Is Settling, Who Isn’t

Scales of Justice, WikiCommons

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, August 10, 2017 ~ Look at multidistrict litigation for transvaginal mesh cases in the U.S. and specifically the numeric listing of cases found in the Southern District of West Virginia. Which product liability cases remain opened and which are listed as closed?

The numbers reveal which company is the last holdout to transvaginal mesh settlements.  

MDL.

Also known as multidistrict litigation.  Early in 2012, a three-judge panel, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) , decided that Charleston, WV, the Southern District of WV, should be the home to amass the growing number of transvaginal mesh cases in federal court there.  There were only a couple thousand then.

Judge Joseph Goodwin

Judge Joseph Goodwin was chosen to be the head of the MDL whose job it was to move the cases through the court as quickly as possible.  Amassing cases in one court meant there would be no conflicting lower court rulings that would have to be sorted out. Consistency and efficiency.

No one had any idea the transvaginal mesh MDL would grow this large. 

Today, there are nearly 104,000, product liability claims in that court, more then any other mass tort ever amassed in a single court.

Johnson & Johnson leads the way with 38,956 cases filed, followed by Boston Scientific at 25,029; AMS at 21,127;  CR Bard at 15,491; Coloplast at 2,610; Cook at 629; and Neomedic at 137.

There have been 320 new cases added to the MDL since June 21, 2017. Ethicon alone added 209 new cases.

Which ones are settling?

From whistleblower law

Among the larger manufacturers, AMS leads the way with 81.6% of its cases listed as closed.

As we know, “Closed” only means its on the road to settlement, it may not be settled yet.

The plaintiff may eventually reject the settlement dollars, but it is still listed as “Closed” while that discussion ensues.

Percentage of cases settled:

Coloplast – 91.8%

Neomedic – 91%

AMS – 81.6%

CR Bard – 67.4%

Boston Scientific – 60%

Ethicon  – 19.8%

Cook – 19.5%

Protest in Charleston WV fed court, June 2015

ETHICON

All of this is to say that among the larger mesh manufacturers, Ethicon ( Johnson & Johnson), CR Bard, AMS (American Medical Systems/Endo) and Boston Scientific, Ethicon is the last to the settlement table and is still choosing instead to face injured plaintiffs in a trial setting.

At this writing, the Ebaugh v. Ethicon trial is underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

That venue plans a succession of pelvic mesh product liability cases, most of them naming Ethicon. It is also the venue J&J/Ethicon would like to see remove 91 cases filed by women who do not live in Pennsylvania, subsequent to a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

See a MND back story here.

Boston Scientific will face a pelvic mesh trial October 30, 2017 in Los Angeles where the issue of counterfeit polypropylene resin smuggled into the U.S. from China will be heard for the first time. Stay tuned.

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