Joint Status Conference Scheduled in All Transvaginal Mesh MDLs With Settlement Counsel

The U.S. District Judge presiding over more than 70,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed by women throughout the country has scheduled another joint status conference, involving representatives from all manufacturers involved in the claims, in hopes of reaching settlements before the federal court system is flooded with thousands of trial dates. 

There are seven different multidistrict litigations, or MDLs, established in the federal court system for complaints filed against various manufacturers of transvaginal mesh and bladder sling products, including C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Ethicon, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Cook Medical, Neomedic.

All of the cases raise similar allegations that women suffered severe and debilitating complications from vaginal mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or female stress urinary incontinence, often result in the need for surgical removal of the device after it eroded through the vagina or caused other injuries.

In a pretrial order (PDF) issued on April 2, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin scheduled a joint status conference for June 2, 2015. Representatives with settlement authority from each of the manufacturers, except for Neomedic, have been ordered to appear, and Judge Goodwin indicates that a series of individual meetings will be held in chambers with the various defendants.

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Status

Judge Goodwin has been presiding over the transvaginal mesh litigation since October 2010, when all Bard Avaulta lawsuits were centralized before him in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses.

Since that time, a steadily growing number of complaints have been filed by women throughout the U.S., and the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has established additional proceedings for cases against other manufacturers.

According to the latest case list (PDF) released on March 16, Judge Goodwin is currently overseeing at least 23,569 Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuits, 19,093 American Medical Systems (AMS) mesh lawsuits, 15,429 Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, 10,525 Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuits, 1,870 Coloplast vaginal mesh lawsuits, 288 Cook Medical vaginal mesh lawsuits and 83 Neomedic vaginal mesh lawsuits.

As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, several early “bellwether” trials have been held involving claims against several of the manufacturers, which were designed to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

While manufacturers have had limited success defending their products in some cases, most of the trials have resulted in multi-million dollar damage awards for plaintiffs, finding that the manufacturers developed and sold defective and unreasonably dangerous products. Despite the jury awards, little progress has been made by most of the manufacturers in reaching large numbers of transvaginal mesh settlements.

Only AMS has settled the majority of claims involving their products, agreeing to pay about $1.6 billion to resolve more than 20,000 claims.

Judge Goodwin has previously expressed frustration with the efforts made by many of the manufacturers to settle vaginal mesh cases. Since there are only about 2,000 federal jury trials held throughout the entire U.S. District Court system each year, it would overwhelm the legal system if each case has to go before a jury.

Earlier this year, Judge Goodwin held another joint conference to push the manufacturers toward discussing settlement.

If the parties are unable to reach agreements to resolve large numbers of cases, Judge Goodwin is expected to start remanding large “waves” of cases back to U.S. District Courts throughout the country for individual trial dates.

2 Comments

  • TambreaApril 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    no settlements offered here for my AMS! What is the majority?

  • MeleodyApril 14, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Really sad right now. Had a bladder lift and bard surgical mesh was used in 2004..Had military insurance when I had the surgery..Went through a divorce and lost insurance and couldn't afford more..Went to a charity hospital to get mesh removed and Dr.said would be to much scar tissue and suggested a urethea lift..Gall bladder problems arose so surgery was put off till that issue resolved.. No revi[Show More]Really sad right now. Had a bladder lift and bard surgical mesh was used in 2004..Had military insurance when I had the surgery..Went through a divorce and lost insurance and couldn't afford more..Went to a charity hospital to get mesh removed and Dr.said would be to much scar tissue and suggested a urethea lift..Gall bladder problems arose so surgery was put off till that issue resolved.. No revision surgeries.. No removals because I'm not abile to afford surgery..No public post in social media because its embarrassing to urinate on yourself and be in pain so not something you brag about or post about..So I will die with this mesh inside me .I will continue to urinate on myself and not enjoy sex fully again..Lawyer says not loojung very good on my part..I ask them to ask the judge can I at least get a lifetime supply of pads...Sigh:'-( Very down hearted and sad as ever.

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