The second federal bellwether trial is set to begin on August 22, involving a Johnson and Johnson Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuit claiming serious side effects, in Huskey v. Ethicon.
Huskey received Ethicon Gynecare TVT-O mesh in February 2011, for stress urinary incontinence. After the surgery, Huskey began to complain of severe pain and was diagnosed with severe mesh erosion into her vagina. She continued to experience debilitating vaginal erosions despite multiple surgeries and finally the vaginal mesh was removed in November 2011.
According to Huskey, “she continues to suffer from severe and chronic pelvic pain. All of this impacts her mentally and physically. She suffers from dyspareunia (pain during sex) that will last for days after sex (if she is able to have intercourse at all) as well as depression. She is extremely physically debilitated and can no longer work — leading to large economic losses.”
What are Bellwether Trials?
The lawsuit is a part of a group of cases selected for early trial dates to determine how juries respond to similar evidence and testimony that is echoed throughout the litigation.
These early test cases are called “bellwether” trials, if successful for the plaintiffs, they can pave the way for a global settlement without the need to conduct thousands of individual trials.
Thousands of Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
There are more than 50,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits filed in the federal court system, and all been centralized before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia.
There are seven separate MDLs, or multidistrict litigations established to control the trans vaginal lawsuit dockets. According to the latest court data from July, there are 18,500 Ethicon mesh, 12,500 Bard Avaulta mesh, 18,000 American Medical Systems (AMS) mesh, 12,000 Boston Scientific mesh, 1,500 Coloplast mesh, 200 Cook Medical mesh and about 75 Neomedic mesh lawsuits.
Plaintiffs Allegations of Serious Side Effects
The plaintiffs allege that transvaginal mesh and bladder sling products were defective and unreasonably dangerous, causing women to experience side effects where the mesh eroded through the vagina, causing severe and catastrophic injuries, including recurrent infections, urinary incontinence and pelvic pain.
Ethicon TransVaginal Verdicts
Earlier in 2014, the first federal Ethicon bellwether trial ended in a defense verdict. Judge Goodwin entered a directed verdict at the conclusion of the plaintiffs case, finding that no reasonable jury could find that she had met her burden of proof.
A third federal Ethicon trial is expected to begin in December 2014.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a licensed Texas Medical Doctor and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.