Judge Goodwin Forces Transvaginal Mesh Manufacturers to File Documents
Judge Joseph R. Goodwin of the United States District Court in West Virginia presides over not one multidistrict litigation, but four, all involving transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
The lawsuits involve five separate manufacturers – Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division, Coloplast, American Medical Systems, C.R. Bard, and Boston Scientific. The MDLs cover nearly 8,000 lawsuits now, with the total expected to reach nearly 10,000 by early next year.
Judge Goodwin ordered C.R. Bard’s bellwether trial date to be February 5th, 2013. C.R. Bard specifically faces an MDL comprising 600 lawsuits. Avaulta Mesh’s MDL bellwether trials are scheduled for the same month.
Meanwhile, Judge Carol E. Higbee, who presides over a sixth transvaginal mesh multidistrict lawsuit in New Jersey, set her MDL’s bellwether trials to begin in November. Her MDL involves 350 lawsuits against transvaginal mesh.
Judge Goodwin issued an order for the transvaginal mesh manufacturers in his MDLs to turn over a series of documents regarding their mesh products. Despite outcries and delay tactics from the manufacturers, Judge Goodwin has stood firm and insisted the manufacturers turn in their documents in a timely fashion.
A status conference was scheduled for December 6th. Discussion topics included trial dates for 2013, aside from the bellwether trials.
The Origin of the Transvaginal Mesh Problem
Just two weeks ago, the Court issued a “no-nonsense discovery order” to Boston Scientific to turn over documents relating to the ProteGen sling, the very first vaginal mesh product on the market. Originally developed in the mid-1990’s and approved by the FDA, the device has become the template from which all transvaginal mesh devices have since received approval. Most of the transvaginal mesh manufacturers have not properly tested their devices because of the FDA’s 510(k) approval process, which allows any medical device that is significantly similar to a previously-approved device to be put on a fast-track approval process. However, in the late ‘90’s, Boston Scientific voluntarily recalled the ProteGen sling because of complications after surgery. Despite the recall, several transvaginal mesh device manufacturers have popped up and developed a variety of devices since the early 2000’s. Their devices are still eligible for the 510(k) process because the FDA did not formally recall the device – the manufacturer did.
Despite stalling tactics from Boston Scientific, Judge Goodwin ordered the manufacturer to produce all of their transvaginal mesh documents for the plaintiffs.
The Strom Law Firm Accepts Transvaginal Mesh Cases
Transvaginal mesh kits were initially produced to help with pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Several varieties of mesh kits exist, but transvaginal mesh specifically was supposed to produce less scarring and pain, because the procedure was less invasive. However, vaginal mesh slings can cause a host of problems, including organ perforation, infection, internal scarring, continued organ prolapsed, and bleeding. If you or a loved one has pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence, have had a transvaginal mesh device implanted, and have since experienced detrimental complications, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Strom Law, LLC can help. We offer free consultations, so please contact us today, and we can help get you on the road to recovery. 803.252.4800.