Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Update

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation News and Updates

Nearly 13,000 lawsuits have been filed throughout the federal court system involving problems with transvaginal surgical mesh.

According to an updated case list (PDF) released by the U.S. JPML on May 15, Judge Goodwin is currently presiding over 2,938 claims involving products manufactured by C.R. Bard, Inc., 6,028 claims against AMS, 5,763 claims against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, 3,557 claims against Boston Scientific and 320 claim against Coloplast Corp.

The litigation has increased dramatically over the past two years, following an FDA warning issued in July 2011 about adverse event reports submitted to the agency involving complications from the products. After a review of all available data, the FDA concluded that there was no evidence that transvaginal mesh provides any additional benefits when compared to more traditional surgery for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.

While the Cook Medical surgical mesh MDL has just been established, the other proceedings before Judge Goodwin are at a more advanced stage, with several cases scheduled to go to trial over the next year.

A series “bellwether” trials are scheduled to begin in July 2013 involving four cases brought by women who experienced problems with Bard Avaulta mesh. Another series of at least three trials are expected to begin later this year or early next year involving lawsuits over products manufactured by AMS, Ethicon and Boston Scientific.

At least two state court cases have already reached a jury, with each resulting in a multi-million dollar damage award for plaintiffs who received the products. In July 2012, a California state court awarded $5.5 million in damages for Bard Avaulta mesh that caused a woman to require multiple follow up surgeries. In February, a New Jersey state court jury awarded $11.1 million in compensatory and punitive damages for problems with Ethicon’s Gynecare Prolift mesh.

These early test cases are designed to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to similar evidence and testimony that will be offered throughout the litigation and may help facilitate vaginal mesh settlement agreements.