U.S. District Judge Goodwin, who is presiding over all federal vaginal mesh lawsuits has rejected a request by C.R. Bard to delay all currently scheduled bellwether trials. The next Bard Avaulta bellwether trial is set to go before a jury on February 18.
Bard pushed for a delay in the scheduled Avaulta trial after the U.S. District Judge Goodwin opined at a recent conference that the manufacturer may face “billions” in liability if they fail to settle the personal injury and product liability claims.
Bard Claims Potential Jury Prejudice
Bard claimed that media coverage may be prejudicial to their defense and requested a postponement for the trial.
According to Judge Goodwin, Bard failed to give good cause, as required by the Federal Rules, for the postponements and delays.
About 10,000 of the cases pending in the federal court system involve problems with Bard’s Avaulta mesh products, with several thousand additional cases filed against the manufacturer in various state court systems.
Plaintiffs Mesh Injury Claims
According to Wise, she suffered problems after having a Bard Avaulta Plus Anterior and Posterior BioSynthetic Support System implanted at a West Virginia hospital on July 16, 2007.
Ronald and Debra Wise’s lawsuit is one of more than 10,000 cases pending in the federal court system involving women who suffered severe and catastrophic complications from Bard vaginal mesh.
Federal MDL Consolidation
All filed federal product liability lawsuits claiming injuries with transvaginal mesh or bladder slings used for repair of pelvic organ prolapse and female stress urinary incontinence are centralized before Judge Goodwin, in the Southern District of West Virginia.
This centralization is part of seven different multidistrict litigations (MDL) that have been established for cases filed against various transvaginal and bladder sling manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Ethicon, Boston Scientific, American Medical Systems (AMS), Coloplast, Neomedic, and Cook Medical.
Update: Bard Avaulta Bellwether Trials
In July 2013, in the first bellwether trial, Donna Cisson, alleged that the design and polypropylene material used in the Bard Avaulta Plus led to various internal injuries.
The jury awarded $2 million, including punitive damages to punish Bard for their gross negligence surrounding the design and sale of the product.
In the second case, Wanda Queen, settled the Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuit.
Bard Bellwether Trials Ramping Up
Judge Goodwin has now ordered that two large waves of Bard cases be prepared to be “trial ready” by January 2015. At least 185 cases are to be ready for trial, and the plaintiffs have proposed that several consolidated Bard Avaulta trials be scheduled involving claims brought by women in the same U.S. District Courts that suffered injuries as a result of similar products.
Additionally, a third wave of cases was proposed this year, including 298 cases involving problems with the Bard Avaulta Plus Anterior Support System, Avaulta Plus Posterior Support System, Avaulta Solo Anterior Synthetic Support System or Avaulta Solo Posterior Synthetic Support System.
Federal Mesh MDL Heading Towards 100,000 Cases
There are more than 70,000 other similar claims pending in the MDL, including more than 14,000 Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, 22,000 Ethicon mesh lawsuits, 1,750 Coloplast mesh lawsuits, 259 Cook Medical mesh lawsuits and about 71 Neomedic mesh lawsuits.
In four cases that have gone to trial in the federal court system, juries have ordered the mesh manufacturers to pay more than $123 million to women who suffered injuries from the mesh products.
Recently, two consolidated trials involving groups of four women each went to trial in Florida and West Virginia against Boston Scientific, resulting in combined jury awards of $26.7 million and $18.5 million respectively.
In September, a Texas jury ordered Boston Scientific to pay $73 million in a state court trial, and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon division was ordered to pay a women $3.27 million in damages in a federal trial.
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.