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Transvaginal Mesh Cases Consolidated in Multidistrict Litigation

The pelvic mesh cases against Johnson & Johnson, American Medical Systems (AMS) and Boston Scientific will be consolidated to Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. The Honorable Goodwin is also presiding over another transvaginal mesh proceeding against C.R. Bard.

Reasons Behind Consolidation

The order to consolidate four massive injury cases was issued by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). Consolidation is intended to decrease duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings and conserve the resources of all parties involved in an attempt to promote efficient justice.

Approximately 150 actions allege defects in the pelvic surgical mesh products manufactured by the three companies.

Impact of Consolidation

The three cases consolidated with the currently pending C.R. Bard are:

  • In re: American Medical Systems, Inc.
  • In re: Boston Scientific Corp.
  • In re: Ethicon, Inc. (Ethicon is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson)

Consolidation will lower the high cost of litigation since multiple lawsuits are transferred and coordinated within one court. This differs from a class action suit, when multiple plaintiffs file a single lawsuit. Each plaintiff in an MDL case retains their own lawsuit but shares discovery and experts, thus reducing the overall cost.

The MDL process is also advantageous for large corporations. It allows for fewer expert depositions and a lower damage award payment. Damages are treated differently in MDL compared to a class action. In a class action suit, every victim is given the same award regardless of injury. In MDL, each victim is given an award tailored to his or her injury.

If MDL does not resolve the cases, they return to the court they originated in for trial.

Choice of Venue

The court states in its order that Judge Goodwin's experience with transvaginal mesh proceedings puts him in a unique situation to handle the consolidation. He is familiar with the vaginal mesh products at issue, which were used to treat pelvic organ prolapsed and urinary incontinence. Those injured by the product suffered pelvic pain, erosion, infection, perforation of the bowel or bladder and often required corrective surgery.

If you or a loved one were injured by this or another faulty medical device or implant, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative needs as well as pain and suffering. It is important to contact an experienced defective medical devices attorney to discuss your claim and legal options.

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