Recently it was announced that the first of four separate federal trials that were filed over complications with the Bard Avaulta vaginal mesh system is going to start in June. This was decided when the judge presiding over the thousands of vaginal mesh lawsuits chose to deny a plaintiff request to try the first group of bellwether cases at the same time.
The court order that came down on March 7 showed that Judge Joseph R. Goodwin chose to hold the first four vaginal mesh lawsuits against Bard Avaulta as a separate trial, which directly rejected the request for the cases to be tried jointly in a consolidated proceeding. The plaintiffs originally wanted the cases to be presented to the same jury, but Goodwin opted instead to have the cases tried by separate juries instead. These trials will be held in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia as part of an MDL. The first of the trials will begin on June 11, 2013.
Vaginal mesh devices are used to treat women with pelvic organ relapse and stress urinary incontinence, which are caused by childbirth or menopause. The devices have been linked to serious complications, including erosion, vaginal scarring, infections and painful intercourse. These complications generally require surgical removal of the vaginal mesh device. The complications linked to the devices have caused numerous patients to file lawsuits against the manufacturers of these systems for failure to properly warn the public and healthcare providers of the dangers linked to them before putting them on the market. Recently, one of those cases ended up giving the plaintiff, Linda Gross, an $11.1 million award. It is hoped that the case will set a precedent in future cases against other manufacturers of similar vaginal mesh devices. Gross’s lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon over the company’s Prolift vaginal mesh system.