Ethicon Mesh Settlements Reportedly Reached in Four Lawsuits
Recent reports suggest that Johnson & Johnson has reached agreements to settle at least four Ethicon transvaginal mesh lawsuits, including one where trial began last week, which are believed to be the first settlements reached out of thousands of cases filed against the company by women nationwide.
While no details on the Ethicon mesh settlements have been released, a report by Philly.com indicates that the agreements were reached in state court claims, including one wrongful death lawsuit that alleged the vaginal mesh caused a fatal infection.
The agreement comes days before a conference is scheduled before the U.S. District Judge presiding over all vaginal mesh lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, at which Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have been ordered to appear with representatives who have full authority to make all decisions related to the cases, including any settlement counsel.
There are more than 75,000 product liability lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, as well as Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), C.R. Bard, Coloplast Corp., Cook Medical, Neomedic and other manufacturers.
All of the complaints involves similar allegations that women suffered painful and debilitating complications from vaginal mesh implanted for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or female stress urinary incontinence, causing infections, erosion of the mesh through the vagina and other injuries.
In the federal court system, seven different MDLs (multidistrict litigations) have been established for cases against different manufacturers, which are all centralized before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings. According to the latest case list (PDF) provided by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on January 15, there are currently at least 22,721 Ethicon mesh lawsuits, 19,081 American Medical Systems (AMS) mesh lawsuits, 14,674 Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, 10,080 Bard Avaulta mesh cases, 1,795 Coloplast mesh lawsuits, 258 Cook Medical mesh lawsuits and 71 Neomedic mesh lawsuits.
A joint status conference in the vaginal mesh litigation is currently set for February 5-6 before Judge Goodwin, after it was originally pushed back one week due to weather on the east coast. The start of an Ethicon mesh trial date set to begin in December was delayed when Judge Goodwin scheduled this conference.
According to a pretrial order (PDF) issued January 26, representatives of each defendant have been ordered to appear who have full settlement authority.
Despite several bellwether trials held before Judge Goodwin, several of which resulted in multi-million dollar damage awards for the plaintiffs, only a few of the manufacturers have reached agreements to settle cases, with most of the agreements coming in individual claims.
If the manufacturers fail to start reaching wide-spread vaginal mesh settlement agreements that resolve a large portion of the litigation, it is expected that hundreds of cases will be scheduled for individual trials throughout the United States over the next few years. However, given the size of the litigation, it would take decades for the courts to try each case individually.
LYNNEFebruary 5, 2015 at 1:08 am
There is nor should there be any rhyme or reason for continually dragging these cases out in court only to use what funds were put up for settlements. Pay out what should be and allow it to be done an over with. I am sure there are other important cases pending in litigation to be heard, CR BARD put up 830 million for their fiscal quarter profits for 2014 and that amount of money earns 40,000 pe[Show More]There is nor should there be any rhyme or reason for continually dragging these cases out in court only to use what funds were put up for settlements. Pay out what should be and allow it to be done an over with. I am sure there are other important cases pending in litigation to be heard, CR BARD put up 830 million for their fiscal quarter profits for 2014 and that amount of money earns 40,000 per each million per year so those funds should be surmounting whereas there is sufficient funds to pay out not just the original profit. Many woman are put off for reasons that I hear beyond belief after this surgery. The courts need to take a stand with these cases and make the manufacturers settle and be done and over with during the fiscal year 2015 with payment alike and up front. Lien the manufacturer as well for further making any other products and have the courts put them on hold and once that is done their monies will be in jeopardy.
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
A federal judge has appointed 11 plaintiffs' attorneys to leadership positions in the Uber sexual assault MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
Plaintiffs have filed a motion opposing efforts by the U.S. government to block jury trials for those who have filed Camp Lejeune water lawsuits.
A federal judge has laid out the selection and discovery process for the first Bard PowerPort lawsuits to go before juries.