Posts Tagged TVM Update

Court Sets Key Dates Leading to Trial in Boston Scientific Vaginal Mesh Cases

Judge Joseph Goodwin set the following key dates for the run up to trial in the vaginal mesh cases vs Boston Scientific currently set for October 14, 2014. Pretrial Order 87 provides as follows:

Plaintiffs shall serve expert reports by 5/11/2014 and provide proposed deposition dates to occur by 7/1/2014;

Defendants shall serve expert reports by 6/1/2014 and provide proposed deposition dates to occur by 8/1/2014;

Plaintiffs shall serve rebuttal expert reports by 7/1/2014;

Written discovery due 6/13/2014;

Expert discovery due 8/1/2014;

Case-specific discovery due 7/28/2014;

Setting forth motions practice; deposition designations due 9/23/2014, objections due 10/3/2014, counter-designations due 10/10/2014;

Exhibit and witness lists due 10/3/2014;

Proposed integrated pretrial order due three days prior to pretrial conference;

Pretrial and settlement conference set 9:00 a.m.

10/2/2014; proposed jury instructions w/proposed verdict form due 10/10/2014;

Trial set 8:30 a.m. 10/14/2014.

Vaginal Mesh Trial History

Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages.  The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective.  Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.  In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected.  Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.

On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).

Our office represents women who have suffered horribly from these mesh products. We remain committed to representing them to a successful conclusion of their cases.

If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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J&J and the Destroyed Records in Vaginal Mesh Cases

On February 4, 2014, Federal Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert found that Johnson and Johnson lost or destroyed thousands of documents and computer files dating back to 2007 related to development of J&J’s Gynecare Prolift and TVT Retropubic meshes. At the time, current J&J CEO Alex Gorsky was the head of the Ethicon Subsidiary responsible for the vaginal mesh implants.

CEO Alex Gorsky

CEO Alex Gorsky

Click here to read the full article: Women Suing J&J Over Pelvic Implant Injuries Allege It Destroyed Documents, Seek US Probe

However, Federal Magistrate Cheryl Eifert stopped short of finding the PHARMA giant did so intentionally, holding instead the destruction was negligent. (In Re Ethicon Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, 12-MD-02327, U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston)). There are currently over 11,000 lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division, which manufactured the Gynecare Prolift and TVT Retropubic meshes. The cases are part of the thousands before U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia. Suits have been filed against J&J, Bard, Endo Health Solutions Inc., and Boston Scientific Corp.

In ruling against Johnson & Johnson, the court noted that the obligation to preserve evidence arises when “litigation is reasonably anticipated.” If a company fails to do so, a court may impose sanctions ranging from monetary penalties to prohibiting the company from making certain arguments at trial. According to the court’s order, Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to preserve documents were “riddled with holes” and “failed miserably in certain instances.”

J&J stopped selling four vaginal mesh products in the face of the massive suits in 2012.  Also in 2012, FDA asserted that the company sold Gynecare Prolift for three years even though it didn’t have the right regulatory approval to do so.  In 2012, the FDA ordered CR Bard Inc and 31 other vaginal mesh implant makers to study rates of organ damage and complications linked to implants.

Patient Advocacy Group Asks For Federal Investigation

On March 26, 2014, a patient advocacy consumer group called the Corporate Action Network filed a complaint with the Department of Justice asking for an investigation into whether J&J and its executives including CEO Alex Gorsky deliberately destroyed the records. In its letter the group asked Attorney General Eric Holder:

“We respectfully request that you investigate Johnson and Johnson, Inc. and its top executives including Chairman and CEO, Alex Gorsky, for two possible criminal violations: first, for obstruction of a criminal investigation of health care offenses in apparent violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1518 and second, for destruction of documents in apparent violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1519. This request follows the recent discovery of document destruction by Johnson and Johnson as related to lawsuits brought against them by thousands of women across the United States who have been seriously injured by the corporation’s pelvic mesh implants”.

Vaginal Mesh Trial History

Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages.  The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective.  Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.  In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected.  Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.

On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).

Our office represents women who have suffered horribly from these mesh products. We remain committed to representing them to a successful conclusion of their cases.

If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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Bloomberg Reports Settlement Talks in Mesh Cases

Bloomberg is reporting that C.R. Bard, Endo Health Solutions, Boston Scientific, Cook, and Coloplast are in what Judge Goodwin described a “behind the scenes” settlement talks.  Johnson and Johnson (J&J) is reportedly NOT participating.

Bard was held liable in two jury verdicts so far.  In July 2012, Bard lost an Avaulta case in a California jury trial and was ordered to pay Christine Scott and her husband over $5 million.  On August 15, 2013, the company was ordered to pay $2 million to Donna Cisson after a jury verdict.  Shortly thereafter, it settled a case in West Virginia (Queen vs. Bard and on September 13, 2013 reportedly settled Melanie Virgil’s case that was set for trial in New Jersey on September 26, 2013.

Bard’s implants have been targeted in more than 12,000 cases, while Boston Scientific said in an August regulatory filing; it faces more than 12,000 suits over its vaginal devices.  Endo’s American Medical Systems Inc. unit faces about 13,500 vaginal-mesh claims between state and federal suits, and Coloplast and Cook face about 1,000 claims combined.  J&J faced 12,250 pelvic mesh claims through June 30, according to a regulatory filing.

C.R. Bard took a $275.1 million litigation charge earlier in 2013 year related to the lawsuits, an action that led to a sizable net loss.

In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.  Based on the Bloomberg report, it is too early to know if the settlement talks will continue let alone lead to a resolution.

Click here to read the full article: Bard, Vaginal-Mesh Makers, Said to Be in Settlement Talks

If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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Transvaginal Mesh Trials Set for Bellwether Cases

On August 5, 2013, Judge Joseph Goodwin issued pretrial Order No. 59 providing trial dates for July 14, 2014 and May 27, 2014 from the following bellwether cases.

  • Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., 2:12-cv-04301 TVT;
  • Judy Brown, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-07314 TVT;
  • Jo Huskey, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-05201 TVT-O;
  • Tonya Edwards, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., 2:12-cv-09972 TVT-O;

The Court Order states “The Court will try the 1st and 2nd round of cases, set to begin 1/14/2014 and 5/27/2014, respectively, from these cases and in the order shown, etc.; the Court will try a Prolift case for the 3rd round of cases set to begin on 8/19/2014.”

Over 23,000 mesh suits pending in MDLs

Thousands of women experienced complications such as: device erosion, infection, organ perforation, intense pain and inability to have intercourse.  Many of these women have had to undergo multiple revision surgeries to attempt to manage symptoms and have since filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits against the device manufacturers. These actions are brought by women against vaginal mesh companies C.R. Bard, American Medical System, Boston Scientific Inc, and Coloplast Corp.

MDL Name

Number of Cases

MDL – 2187, IN RE: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

3,399

MDL – 2325, IN RE: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

7,227

MDL – 2326 IN RE: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

4,622

MDL – 2327 IN RE: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

7,117

MDL – 2387 IN RE: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation

437

MDL – 2440 IN RE: Cook Medical, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

25

TOTAL: 6 Multidistrict Litigations

22,827

Donna Cisson Trial Continues

Meanwhile the trial of the case of Donna Cisson vs. Bard, 2:11-cv-00195 continues in Judge Goodwin’s courtroom.  It is anticipated Plaintiffs will seek to establish that:

  • Bard knew of the risks associated with Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh and failed to inform doctors.
  • Bard did not do clinical testing or studies to learn the risks of Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh.
  • Bard did not study how to remove Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh.
  • Bard marketed and sold Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh despite knowing the material used to make it, Marlex, was not designed to implant in the human body.
  • Bard did not tell doctors that Bard Avaulta transvaginal mesh was not fit for human use.

The company knew in 2002 and 2003 that synthetic vaginal mesh could cause significant erosion of the patient’s tissues, and infection.

Two Trial Verdicts for Plaintiffs

There have been two trials so far, both resulting in Plaintiff’s verdicts.  However, the facts in these cases are different from many of the pending cases.  In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries.  Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.  In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product.  Gross had 18 surgeries.  The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.

Over 23,000 women have filed suits detailing their injuries from the mesh inserted in them.  We believe that ultimately the cause of their injuries will be shown to be the defects in the mesh products and the absence of appropriate warnings.  If you would like more information, check the video below, go to our website, or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.

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