The first of four separate federal trials involving problems with Bard Avaulta mesh will begin in June 2013. U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ordered that the first four Bard Avaulta lawsuits in the federal MDL will be tried individually.
Judge Goodwin is overseeing the vaginal mesh injury cases in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Here all federal lawsuits over Bard Avaulta mesh have been centralized as part of an MDL, or multi-district litigation.
The first Bard Avaulta trial in the federal court system will involve a lawsuit filed by Donna and Dan Cisson. The first trial date is scheduled to begin on June 11, 2013.
Thousands of Trans Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits
These bellwether cases have been selected as test cases in the vaginal mesh litigation, which includes thousands of lawsuits filed over the Bard Avaulta mesh and other mesh products.
Judge Goodwin presides over five different vaginal mesh litigations involving products manufactured by C.R. Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, Ethicon and Coloplast Corp.
These mesh injury cases involve allegations that the manufacturers sold dangerous and defective surgical mesh products used for transvaginal repair of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or female stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Plaintiffs allege that they suffered injuries when the mesh eroded through the vagina and caused severe complications.
According to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation as of March 2013, Judge Goodwin’s West Virginia court is currently presiding over 1,956 Bard Avaulta lawsuits; 3,974 AMS vaginal mesh lawsuits; 2,317 Boston Scientific pelvic mesh lawsuits; 3,798 Ethicon Gynecare mesh lawsuits and 188 Coloplast bladder sling lawsuits.
What are Bellwether Trials?
Bellwether Trials are a small group of cases that are prepared for early trial dates in each of the proceedings. The outcome of these trials may help the parties resolve the litigation and pave the way to a global settlement. Three trials are scheduled to begin in December 2013 involving lawsuits filed over AMS mesh, Boston Scientific mesh and Ethicon Gynecare mesh.
Vaginal Mesh Verdicts
The bellwether Bard Avaulta MDL trials will be the first cases in the federal court system to go before a jury. In July 2012, a California state court jury awarded $5.5 million in damages to Christine Scott, who alleged that the Bard Avaulta mesh damaged her colon, resulting in at least eight additional surgeries.
In February, a New Jersey state court jury awarded $11.1 million damages to Linda Gross, who required at least 18 surgeries from Ethicon vaginal mesh injuries.
The number of lawsuits filed throughout the country has continued to increase since the FDA issued a warning in July 2011, indicating that thousands of women had reported suffering problems with vaginal mesh 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 to repair pelvic organ prolapse.