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Recent Settlements & Updates
  • Ethicon TVT Mesh Lawsuits Consolidated In Federal Litigation All Allege That Women Suffered Serious Injuries, Such As Pain, Infection, Bleeding, Mesh Erosion, And Vaginal Scarring, Due To Having Pelvic Mesh Implants.

    The federal judge managing the vaginal mesh lawsuits in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, has scheduled a consolidated trial for 26 Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuits that name Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. unit as defendant. The Gynecare complaints allege that the women suffered such injuries as mesh erosion, infection, scar tissue, organ perforation, chronic nerve damage, pain and urinary problems. Judge Goodwin said the cases had common issues of law and fact. The jury trial, scheduled for November 2, will focus only on the plaintiffs’ identical claims of design defects with the TVT mesh, according to the order. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2327)

    As stated in court documents and by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), transvaginal mesh products are used to treat stress urinary incontinence and repair. The FDA announced that the number of complaints it has received regarding surgical mesh products prompted a proposal to reclassify transvaginal mesh from a moderate-risk device to a high-risk device. In making its announcement in April 2014, the federal regulatory agency said the reclassification would mean that mesh manufacturers would have to submit premarket approval applications that details the risks, safety and effectiveness of their products if they want to continue selling them on the U.S. market.

    Court documents indicate that Ethicon is one of seven transvaginal mesh manufacturers included in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern West Virginia federal court where nearly 72,000 mesh complaints are pending. According to a court docket maintained specifically for MDL’s nationwide, Ethicon currently is facing 25,475 pelvic mesh complaints as of June 15. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2327) In addition to Ethicon, other companies involved in the litigation and the number of lawsuits pending against them are:

    In re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2325), 15,989
    In re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2326), 16,755
    In Re C. R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2187), 10,956
    In Re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2387), 1,960
    In Re: Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2440), 300
    In Re: Neomedic Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2511), 94
    jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-June-15-2015.pdf, June 15, 2015]

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  • On March 5, 2015, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $5.7 million in a California transvaginal mesh trial.

    After the verdict was passed down, it only took a day for the $5.7 Million settlement to be obtained from the Ethicon Bellwether Case. Plaintiff Coleen Perry and her lawyer mark the fourth win for plaintiffs suing Ethicon over Transvaginal mesh.

    For more details on the trial that preceded the settlement, click here to read to full story.

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  • On March 5, 2015, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $5.7 million in a California transvaginal mesh trial. As a last-ditch effort, Ethicon lawyers are making an attempt to appeal the $700,000 in punitive damages.

    Ethicon issued the following statement about the appeal for punitive damages:

    The evidence showed the TVT Abbrevo midurethral sling was properly designed and Ethicon acted appropriately and responsibly in the research development and marketing of the product.

    Although the Plaintiff Coleen Perry and her lawyer may have won claims their main arguments it could be a long appeal process. Ethicon has only paid out 4 settlements (including this one) so they have experience and financing that will prolong their litigation efforts.

    For more details on the trial, click here to read to full story.

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  • CHARLESTON – A federal judge has denied a motion requesting a reduction in punitive damages in a lawsuit against C.R. Bard Inc. for its vaginal mesh products.

    District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin denied the motion for a new trial and to reduce the $1.75 million in punitive damages. He believes the motions filed by C.R. Bard are unpersuasive of a new trial.

    “Crucially, none of the objections raised by Bard constitutes an error ‘so grievous as to have rendered the trial unfair,’” Goodwin’s opinion states.

    On the contrary, the evidentiary decisions made during the trial ensured that the jury would hear the most probative evidence from each side without being confused and misled by superfluous and complicated testimony, according to the opinion.

    Because of this, Goodwin denied the motion for a new trial and denied Bard’s subsequent requests.

    The case was the first jury trial within the seven MDLs assigned to Goodwin by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation concerning the use of transvaginal surgical mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, according to the opinion.

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    During litigation, plaintiffs often find themselves waiting longer than expected for the resolution of their case. Due to the length of litigation and the possible inability to work during the case, some may also find their funds depleting. This can lead to having to accept a smaller settlement in a shorter period of time to avoid additional debt.

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  • A California jury on Thursday March 5, 2015 ordered Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc unit to pay $5.7 million in the first trial over injuries blamed on the TVT Abbrevo. The TVT Abbrevo is just one of numerous transvaginal mesh products that are the subject of thousands of lawsuits.

    Following more than three days of deliberations in Kern County, California, jurors found Ethicon liable for problems with the TVT Abbrevo’s design and for failing to warn about its risks, according to a lawyer for plaintiff Coleen Perry.

    Perry was awarded $700,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages after jurors in the Bakersfield court found Ethicon’s conduct amounted to “malice,” her lawyer said.

    The verdict is the fourth win for plaintiffs suing Ethicon over transvaginal mesh. More than 36,000 lawsuits have been filed against Ethicon in state and federal courts over the devices, which are used to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

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    Ethicon Mesh Recall and Lawsuit FAQ

    Ethicon is a manufacture of surgical mesh products. Surgical mesh is an artificial, net-like product used by doctors to support weakened or damaged tissue inside the body. In some procedures, doctors insert surgical mesh into a woman’s body through the vagina to better reach the affected area. This is known as a TransVaginal Mesh procedure.

    TransVaginal Mesh is commonly used to treat women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Ethicon Mesh is used to treat both conditions frequently occurring in women following childbirth. Damaged and weakened tissue allows internal organs to shift inside the body, leading to numerous health problems. In treating POP, mesh is implanted in the body to support a weakened vaginal wall. In treating SUI, on the other hand, mesh forms part of a sling system inserted to support internal organs. Besides TransVaginal Mesh placement, surgical mesh can also be inserted through the abdomen.

  • Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle over 100 transvaginal mesh tape and sling lawsuits for their Mentor unit. The J&J Mentor unit caused permanent injuries for the women plaintiffs after they had the units surgically implanted. Although there were 100 transvaginal mesh lawsuits there were 111 plaintiffs involved in the settlement. However, the exact financial terms of the transvaginal mesh tape and sling settlement remain unknown.

    Mentor ObTape Transobturator Sling

    This tension-free surgery has less risk of bladder and bowel injury in comparison with the TVT sling because there is no need to blindly pass a large needle through the retropubic space when inserting the mesh tape. It was invented in France and brought to the United States in 2002.

    Despite the settlement and the fact that the sling was discontinued in 2006, J&J maintains that the sling is a safe product. There are still hundreds of other cases pending before Judge Clay Land, with six bellwether cases set for trial in October and November.

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  • transvaginal-mesh-lawsuit

    CHARLESTON, W. Va – C.R. Bard’s expert Dr. Marhsall Austin may testify at an upcoming Avaulta Transvaginal mesh trial. Dr. Austin may testify using his expert knowledge on the biocompatibility of the devices polypropylene mesh.

    However, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin gave an order on February 11, 2015 that said Austin may not testify as to whether the Avaulta device has a defective design, finding the subject is beyond his expertise.

    The Trial of Debra Wise v. C.R. Bard Inc., No. 2:12-1378 (S.D. W. Va.)

    Debra Wise was implanted with the Avaulta Plus Anterior Support System and the Avaulta Plus Posterior Support System to treat her pelvic organ prolapse. The surgery took place in West Virginia.

    Following the surgery, Wise allegedly experienced multiple complications, including vaginal spasms, damage to her ureter, vagina, and rectum, kidney reflux, urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), lower pelvic pain, incontinence, and kidney stones.

    Wise and her husband sued C.R. Bard directly in the MDL, asserting state law claims of negligent inspection, packaging, marketing, and selling; manufacturing defect (negligence and strict liability); failure to warn (negligence and strict liability); breach of warranty (express and implied); and punitive damages.

    Pre-Settlement Funding For Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

    Transvaginal mesh is the largest MDL in US history and just like Colleen Perry’s trial it will take longer than expected to settle in court. If you have a clear settlement lined up down but you don’t want to wait for it, we can help. Our legal funding services can get you money before your case settles in court so you don’t have to wait. Use our money for surgical funding, outstanding bills or whatever you need to get your life back on track.

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    Credit: HarrisMartin Publishing

  • BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Plaintiff Colleen Perry was implanted with Ethicon’s Gynecare TVT Abbrevo Sling System in March 2011 to treat her stress urinary incontinence. Her Transvaginal mesh lawsuit accuses Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon Inc. of hiding the risks associated with their Gynecare TVT Abbrevo Sling System.

    According to court documents, Perry and her husband sued Ethicon in April 2013, alleging that contrary to JNJ and Ethicon’s representations and marketing, the Sling System “has high failure, injury and complication rates, fails to perform as intended, requires frequent and often debilitating revision surgeries, and has caused severe and irreversible injuries, conditions, and damage to a significant number of women.”

    According to the complaint, “the Sling System is represented by JNJ and Ethicon to correct and restore normal vaginal structure by implantation of polypropylene mesh in the vaginal region.” “The Sling System is specifically promoted to physicians and patients as part of an innovative, minimally invasive procedure with minimal local tissue reactions, minimal tissue trauma, and minimal pain while correcting stress urinary incontinence.”

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  • Transvaginal Mesh is the largest Multi District Litigation (MDL) in the history of the United States. And no one knows this better than U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin. He knows these mesh cases will be tried for decades but wants to see an end sooner than later.

    “I’m going to kick it into high gear and ask that you do the same,” said U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston, West Virginia.

    However, Goodwin praised American Medical Systems (AMS), a subsidiary of Endo International Plc, for being one of the manufacturers who decided to settle. AMS said last year it would set aside up to $1.6 billion to resolve 20,000 lawsuits and additional unfiled claims. Unlike AMS, Boston Scientific Corp, C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc stand behind the devices and deny that they are defective.

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  • Boston Scientific Corp. and plaintiffs accusing it in the multidistrict litigation over its pelvic mesh products on Friday argued for the exclusion of each others’ experts, with plaintiffs targeting those including the inventor of the Uphold Pelvic Floor Repair Kit.

    In separate filings in West Virginia federal court, the plaintiffs targeted Boston Scientific’s experts, including Roger Goldberg, who they claim has earned more than $1.4 million in royalties for the mesh device he invented. They argue that Goldberg has himself admitted a conflict of interest in a past study of the Uphold Pelvic Floor Repair Kit, and that he has not followed a rigorous enough methology in supporting his conclusion about the safety of the product.

    “The opinions of Dr. Goldberg, no doubt strongly held by someone who has made over a $1,000,000 from its sale, do
    not satisfy a reliability or relevance review under the Daubert standard and should be excluded,” the plaintiffs said in a filing Friday.

    The plaintiffs have also sought to exclude the testimonies of urogynecologist James Rice, whose opinions on certain pelvic products including Boston Scientific’s Solyx Single-Incision Mini-Sling product they claim are not based on sound enough methodology.

    They argued also that his deposition testimony shows that he lacks expertise in the design of the transvaginal mesh or Solyx device, according to their filing.

    “Dr. Rice’s opinions are unreliable because they are based on his admitted incomplete review of the medical literature regarding polypropylene transvaginal mesh and the Solyx Single-Incision Mini- Sling,” the plaintiffs said in their filing. “It is well established that an expert must take contrary scientific literature and evidence into account and may not simply disregard it.”

    Boston Scientific meanwhile urged the court to exclude the testimony from certain suits in the litigation, of plaintiffs’ expert, pelvic surgeon Jerry Blavais, arguing similarly that his opinions on the safety of polypropylene mid-urethral slings are unreliable. The device maker argued that his testimony does not adequately address conflicting scientific views, and that his opinions are not backed by peer-reviewed literature, according to its filing.

    Tens of thousands of cases involving mesh products manufactured by Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and C.R. Bard Inc. have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation pending before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in West Virginia federal court.

    Credit: Law360 & David Siegel

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