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Bard Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits To Be Selected For Early Trial Dates

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The judge presiding over all federal Bard Avaulta vaginal mesh lawsuits has asked the parties to develop a list of potential bellwether cases, which would be prepared for early trial dates in the multidistrict litigation (MDL). 

After meeting with attorneys from both sides earlier this month, Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin called for plaintiff and defense lawyers to identify eight cases each to be considered for early discovery. The list is due no later than March 2.

The Bard Avaulta cases are moving forward as vaginal mesh litigation continues to grow against a number of manufacturers who sell similar devices for repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and female stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The surgical mesh products have been linked to a risk of serious and debilitating complications, including erosion of the mesh into the vagina, recurrence of urinary problems, pain and disfigurement.

More than 250 lawsuits over C.R. Bard vaginal mesh filed in federal courts throughout the United States have been consolidated before Judge Goodwin for pretrial litigation as part of an MDL. While the litigation initially only included Bard Avaulta mesh products, it has since been expanded to include at least 29 other types of vaginal mesh made by C.R. Bard or their subsidiaries, including Pelvicol, PelviLace, PelviSoft, Pelvitex, Uretex and Align mesh.

In addition to lawsuits against C.R. Bard, a growing number of similar complaints have been filed against Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS) and Ethicon/Gynecare, which is a division of Johnson & Johnson.

On January 26, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is scheduled to hear oral arguements over whether the vaginal mesh lawsuits involving these other manufacturers should also be centralized as part of three separate MDLs before Judge Goodwin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for coordinated handling.

The number of complaints filed in courts throughout the country has increased in recent years, as public awareness about the risk of vaginal mesh problems increased following an FDA warning issued last year about an increasing number of adverse event reports associated with the products.

In July 2011, the FDA issued surgical mesh warning, indicating that they have been unable to find any evidence that transvaginal mesh kits used for repair of pelvic organ prolapse provide any benefit over other available means of treatment.

In September, an FDA advisory panel was convened to review the potential health risks with vaginal mesh products. At the panel hearing, a majority of surgical mesh manufacturers joined together to create a “Transvaginal Mesh Working Group”, making a joint presentation to the committee and presenting a unified voice and position at the hearing.

Earlier this month, the FDA mailed a letter to several device makers calling for more post-marketing studies into the rate of complications with vaginal mesh systems, which many believe is the beginning of tighter regulations aimed at protecting women from these serious and debilitating problems.

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1 comment

  1. rhonda Reply

    I had surgery in 2000 to remove a uterus with a large tumor in it. The doctor said while he was cutting me open to remove the tumor, he could put the sling in that would help with any incontinance. I wasnt having any, but he said since I had given birth to three children, it would be a good idea to have it put in. I thought he knew what he was talking about. Turns out, my uterus that was removed didnt even have a tumor in it, and six months after getting the sling, started excercising again, and one day during a yoga pose that had me in a pretzel, I felt the weirdest thing happen to my body. It literally felt like a large rubberband was coming off of something in my body, and an organ felt like it slowly was being turned inside out and back again as whatever felt like a rubberband was slithering off of it. I swear I thought the sling came loose or something. Never felt that before. Went to the Gyn and he did a pelvic exam and said all felt okay. I don’t trust him, havent been back since. I don’t trust doctors now. He took my uterus that I didnt need to lose, and put some weird bladder sling in that just came off later anyway, who knows where it is in there now. Only thing about now that is different for me is I have absolutely no energy EVER.

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