Boston Scientific is exposed to more than 10,000 federal product liability lawsuits filed by women who experienced injuries from transvaginal mesh products implanted for repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or female stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
U.S. federal Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, is presiding over six federal multidistrict litigation for vaginal mesh claims brought against different manufacturers. According to the court, the first bellwether trial involving eleven Boston Scientific cases will begin on October 14, 2014.
Another 200 cases are now also being prepared for early trial dates. Over the remainder of this year, case-specific discovery will move forward in this second round of bellwether cases, with the first lawsuits expected to be trial-ready by January 30, 2015.
The parties have been directed to meet and confer over the coming weeks to determine the appropriate venue for these bellwether cases by July 25, 2014. Following conclusion of pretrial proceedings, Judge Goodwin indicates he will begin remanding cases back to the various U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates.
Vaginal Mesh Litigation and Bellwether Trials
Judge Goodwin currently presides over more than 50,000 cases that filed against various different manufacturers, which are centralized in the Southern District of West Virginia.
In addition to Boston Scientific mesh lawsuits, the latest update provided by the Court indicates that there are 17,293 AMS, 17,638 Ethicon Gynecare, 7,783 Bard Avaulta, 1,325 Coloplast, 184 Cook Medical and about 28 Neomedic Pelvic mesh lawsuits.
In several of the proceedings, a series of bellwether trials or mini trials, have been set to help the parties determine how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony. The outcomes of these early trial dates are designed to facilitate possible vaginal mesh settlement agreements that may resolve a large portion of the litigation.
Mesh Trial Verdicts
The first federal vaginal mesh trial began in July 2013, against C.R. Bard involving their Avaulta mesh product. That case resulted in a $2 million damage verdict, including $1.5 million in punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer for their bad acts involving the design and sale of the product.
Since that verdict, Bard has settled at least two federal cases shortly before trial. Another 200 Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuits are being prepared for trial dates early next year.
In May, Endo Health Solutions settled AMS mesh lawsuits for an estimated $830 million to avoid a series of bellwether trials set to begin over this summer.