With thousands of transvaginal mesh and bladder sling mesh lawsuits filed in state and federal courts around the country, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they cannot be tried separately. Lawsuits filed against the major manufacturers – C.R. Bard, Ethicon, American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific – have in some cases been consolidated with other lawsuits against the same individual manufacturer.
On Thursday, January 26th, a federal panel of judges met to consider whether all of the cases should be consolidated before one federal judge. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) met in Miami to decide whether all of the cases, numbering in the thousands, should be consolidated before one judge in the Southern District of West Virginia. Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is already overseeing the C.R. Bard surgical mesh lawsuits and is therefore familiar with the issues, which include patient injury and a failure to inform by the manufacturers who may have understood that their products were defective.
The Judicial Panel delayed making any decision on the consolidation request.
Cases heard in an MDL can use a similar set of facts and share in the discovery process, where each side asks for and receives documents from the other side that can become evidence in their case. Injured plaintiffs keep their legal bills down when they can all share in discovery. In addition, consolidating cases in an MDL avoids any conflicting court rulings that can come from different judges in different jurisdictions.
Synthetic surgical mesh is used to treat pelvic organ prolapse in women, as well as stress urinary incontinence. It is a petroleum-based polypropylene mesh-like substance, permanently implanted to hold up the organs in place when they have fallen within the body. Age, genetics, childbirth, and a lack of exercise are all thought to contribute to the conditions.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports a five-fold increase in complications such as mesh erosion, migration, shrinkage, nerve damage, and intense abdominal pain, as well as infection. And the FDA has no real handle on the actual number of complications because the manufacturers are not required to track them. The Jacksonville transvaginal mesh injury attorneys of Farah & Farah are sensitive to listening to your concerns following a mesh implant. There is a limited time within which to bring an action, so starting the conversation may put you one step closer to finding some resolution to your pain and disability. Call us at 1(800) 533-35555.