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Transvaginal Mesh Settlement Reported in Canada

  • Written by: Irvin Jackson
  • 5 Comments

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As more than 70,000 transvaginal mesh lawsuits continue to move forward throughout the U.S. court system, the first settlements were reported this week in Canada.

Complaints filed throughout the U.S. and Canada raise similar claims, indicating that women suffered severe and debilitating complications from transvaginal mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse or female stress urinary incontinence.

Women have reported pain and other injuries caused by the mesh eroding through the vagina, infections or other problems, which often result in the need for additional surgery to remove the mesh.

According to a recent report by CTV News, about 35 women pursuing claims in Canada have reached settlements for their transvaginal mesh claims, although details of the agreements or the specific manufacturers involved were not disclosed. However, even after the settlements, there are still about 3,000 women pursuing claims over the transvaginal mesh products.

In the United States, more than 70,000 lawsuits are being pursued against various different manufacturers of transvaginal mesh and bladder sling products, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Coloplast Corp, Cook Medical, Neomedic and other companies.

Seven different federal multidistrict litigations (MDLs) have been established for cases filed against different manufacturers in the U.S., which are all centralized before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

According to the latest update (PDF) from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Judge Goodwin is presiding over 22,721 Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuits, 19,081 American Medical Systems (AMS) mesh lawsuits, 14,674 Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, 10,080 Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuits, 1,795 Coloplast vaginal mesh lawsuits, 258 Cook Medical vaginal mesh lawsuits and 71 Neomedic vaginal mesh lawsuits.

As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, small groups of cases involving several of the different manufacturers have been scheduled for early trial dates, which are known as “bellwether” claims. While manufacturers have had some success defending a few individual cases at trial, most of the lawsuits that have gone before juries have resulted in plaintiffs’ verdicts, with women being awarded several million in damages in many of the cases.

Last year, Endo International announced that AMS mesh settlements have been reached to resolve “substantially all” of the claims filed against their subsidiary. However, while there have been a handful of individual settlements reportedly reached by Bard and other manufacturers, there has been little progress towards reaching global settlements that would resolve large numbers of cases. As a result, Judge Goodwin has indicated that he intends to speed up the transvaginal mesh trial schedule, ordering several waves of cases involving certain manufacturers to be “trial ready” this year and next.

While the outcomes of these early bellwether trials are not binding in the thousands of other cases that are pending, they are designed to help the parties reach transvaginal mesh settlements and avoid the need for each case to be scheduled for trial, which would take decades given the total number of civil jury trials held each year throughout the entire federal court system.

Claims of Illegal Solicitation

This week, Johnson & Johnson filed a motion (PDF) with Judge Goodwin, calling for the court to investigate claims that some women are being illegally solicited to file transvaginal mesh lawsuits, even if they have not suffered an injury.

In the filing, lawyers for Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary indicate that about a half-dozen women have indicated they were called unsolicited to file a complaint, including the wife of one of the company’s attorneys, suggesting that some women’s medical records were illegally accessed. The motion calls for an investigation into the solicitation and for the Court to require plaintiffs and attorneys who have filed the more than 23,000 lawsuits against the company to prove there were no solicitations involved.

“The judicial process becomes a mockery if plaintiffs without valid claims are harassed into filing baseless suits and allowed to flood the system, with the weight of their numbers then used as a hammer to force settlement without ever having to demonstrate the merit of their claims,” wrote attorneys for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon.

The motion comes shortly after Judge Goodwin denied a request to postpone scheduled trials involving transvaginal mesh manufactured by C.R. Bard. That manufacturer sought the delay following media coverage of recent comments made by Judge Goodwin last month at a hearing, where he indicated that the company may face “billions” in liability if settlements are not reached. Judge Goodwin also indicated that if he were a stockholder of Bard, he would be materially interested in the fact that there have been multiple million dollar verdicts for individual plaintiffs in the litigation.

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5 comments

  1. Dakeys Reply

    In America the settlements are over 20 million each woman !!! I hope the women in other countries are getting every millions they deserve!!! Every Victory counts keep taking these butchers to court. Women will never be Guinea Pigs !!!!!!!

  2. Charlene Reply

    Well I am glad some women have been paid over 20 million each, I just wish mine would get settled here in Canada. I have been suffering since 2007 when the put the mesh sling in me, I got cause I couldn’t contr the leakage from my bladder. I have no life, I cannot sit, stand, lay down or walk for any length of time, I use a cane, walker and a wheelchair just so I can get around to do some stuff. I haven’t had sex since 2008 cause way too painful, thank god I have a very understanding man in my life and he married me just last month. He said sex don’t matter to him as long as I am in his life for always. I have been trying to get on a disability program to help me out financially through Canada Pension Diability Plan and have been fighting with them since 2012 and also AISH which is another disability program here in Alberta, Canada, but no help yet I have appealed four times with one and two times with other. I need the help just to pay for my medications, all my doctors and specialists, plus all medical equipment and medical stuff over the counter to. I am on such a high dosage of morphine for pain that I can’t function to do anything and my doctors have told all the Diability programs that I cannot ever work, cause this mesh thing has caused so much problems with body and my organs. Now it isn’t just my bladder pro lapsing more and more each day now my rectum and bowel are to. I have had many surgeries to try and fix things and try to get all the mesh out and those haven’t help with anything or even the pain. I need help at home to but I can’t afford home care so I am on my own when my husband is gone away to work and i collapse constantly cause of the pain and plus I pass out to cause the pain is so bad. I just want my life back and a settlement would help for at least to help me enjoy some type of life. I am so sick of everything that some days I wish I would never wake. So if you know if Canada will settling here soon to it would be nice to know! Thanks for listening I appreciate it.

  3. Diane Reply

    My sister in Canada is waiting on her claim as has severe medical problems with the sling. Her attorney said the only place for removal was at UCLA Los Angeles.

  4. Charlene Reply

    Well I am glad some women have been paid over 20 million each, I just wish mine would get settled here in Canada. I have been suffering since 2007 when the put the mesh sling in me, I got cause I couldn’t contr the leakage from my bladder. I have no life, I cannot sit, stand, lay down or walk for any length of time, I use a cane, walker and a wheelchair just so I can get around to do some stuff. I haven’t had sex since 2008 cause way too painful, thank god I have a very understanding man in my life and he married me just last month. He said sex don’t matter to him as long as I am in his life for always. I have been trying to get on a disability program to help me out financially through Canada Pension Diability Plan and have been fighting with them since 2012 and also AISH which is another disability program here in Alberta, Canada, but no help yet I have appealed four times with one and two times with other. I need the help just to pay for my medications, all my doctors and specialists, plus all medical equipment and medical stuff over the counter to. I am on such a high dosage of morphine for pain that I can’t function to do anything and my doctors have told all the Diability programs that I cannot ever work, cause this mesh thing has caused so much problems with body and my organs. Now it isn’t just my bladder pro lapsing more and more each day now my rectum and bowel are to. I have had many surgeries to try and fix things and try to get all the mesh out and those haven’t help with anything or even the pain. I need help at home to but I can’t afford home care so I am on my own when my husband is gone away to work and i collapse constantly cause of the pain and plus I pass out to cause the pain is so bad. I just want my life back and a settlement would help for at least to help me enjoy some type of life. I am so sick of everything that some days I wish I would never wake. So if you know if Canada will settling here soon to it would be nice to know! Thanks for listening I appreciate it.

    The above comments was put on this page cause I would like another lawyer’s opinion on my Class Action Case. I feel I am not getting my lawyer’s full attention on my case, cause I never hear from them and if I do it is using by email or a quit call from her receptionist saying thank for your update and that’s it. There is no client lawyer relationship between me and my lawyer whatsoever. It seems I am just another client to put more money in her pocket. Do you think I should look for another lawyer to see if they are interested in being my lawyer? Since my lawyer has never spoken to me in the 4 years I have been her client. Thank you for your advise and support on this matter. I greatly appreciate it.

  5. diane Reply

    If you have a case number you can call the courts directly in Virginia and they will tell you if your case has even been filed by your lawyer. You will be referred to the right court house.

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