Female patients injured as a result of defective trans vaginal mesh implants have filed nearly 15,000 state and federal cases against a number of companies that manufacture the devices, and effectively managing those dockets has prompted the courts to centralize the claims into several multidistrict litigation cases (MDLs).
As we’ve described in prior posts, transvaginal mesh has been used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI), conditions common in older women whose pelvic muscles have weakened after pregnancy or childbirth. But the mesh products have been identified as causing pelvic injuries, including severe pelvic pain, erosion of the mesh into adjacent pelvic organs, and painful sexual intercourse.
Consolidating cases into an MDL still allows individual trials and settlements, but lets lawyers share resources and avoid costly, duplicative efforts when it comes to taking depositions and conducting pre-trial discovery in each case separately. Lead attorneys representing all the plaintiffs and the corporate defendants share evidence as well as testimony allowed by the judge. After everything is presented, the cases proceed to tial individually; unlike class-action lawsuits, plaintiffs that take part in an MDL eventually receive their own trials and separate settlements.
Pending MDL actions involving trans vaginal mesh include:
- In re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2187)
- In re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2325)
- In re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2326)
- In re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2327)
- In Re Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2387
- In Re Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2440).
Certain cases have been selected to proceed to trial first as possible indicators for how other claims in an MDL might resolve themselves. Sommers Schwartz attorney Jason Thompson represents approximately 200 women injured by transvaginal mesh (TVM) products. One of his clients with a Johnson & Johnson Ethicon Trans Vaginal Mesh device was chosen for inclusion among the plaintiffs whose cases have been selected for possible “bellwether” trials, scheduled to commence in December 2013.
To learn more about how we help women harmed by TVM products, as well as other people injured as a result of other defective devices and dangerous drugs, please give us a call. And if you’ve been hurt, make that call soon – the law limits the amount of time you have to seek compensation.