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Shezad Malik MD JD
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Vaginal Mesh Litigation Just Got Bigger With Cook Medical MDL

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According to the order issued by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) all Cook Medical surgical mesh federal lawsuits will be consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Cook Medical surgical mesh will be centralized in the same West Virginia court that is handling the other 5 Vaginal Mesh MDLs.

U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia will be coordinating the handling during pretrial proceedings.

Judge Goodwin, is handling all Bard Avaulta mesh, American Medical System (AMS) mesh, Ethicon Gynecare mesh, Boston Scientific pelvic mesh and Coloplast sling lawsuits.

Vaginal Mesh Complaints

The claims allege that women developed injuries after receiving surgical mesh transvaginally for repair of pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. The claims include that the mesh eroded through the vagina, caused serious health problems and that the manufacturers failed to adequately research the design or warn about the risk of complications.

Cook Medical Mesh MDL

The lawsuits involve Cook Medical’s Surgisis Biodesign Tension-Free Urethral Sling, Surgisis Biodesign Anterior Pelvic Floor Graft, Surgisis Biodesign Posterior Pelvic Floor Graft, Cook Urological Stratasis Urethral Sling or Stratasis Tension Free Urethral Sling. The JPML identified at least 13 complaints filed in eight different districts that will be transferred to the MDL.

Transvaginal Mesh Litigation Update

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

FDA Investigation and Opinion

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.

Bellwether Trial Schedule

Bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in July 2013 involving four cases brought by women who experienced problems with Bard Avaulta mesh. Three trials set to begin later this year involving mesh products manufactured by AMS, Ethicon and Boston Scientific.

Bellwether trials are early test cases to help the parties determine how juries will react to evidence and testimony that will be offered throughout the litigation and may result in a global vaginal mesh settlement.

Plaintiff Victories

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.

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  1. Joe Saunders says:
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    Thanks for the excellent summary and update of the mesh litigation.

    As usual, your post is accurate and timely.

    Keep up the great work for consumer justice.