The status conference for the vaginal mesh bellwether cases against manufacturer Ethicon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia took place on May 23, 2013.
The purpose of the status conference was for officials to discuss the issues that have come up during the Gross v. Gynecare Inc. case in the Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey. During the status conference, the parties involved addressed the cases being filed against Ethicon and the settlement that recently took place during the first lawsuit against Ethicon. On the agenda during the conference was the “coordination of the discovery process, scheduling of the hearings for the subsequent selected bellwether cases, deposition scheduling issues and issues stemming from third-party protective orders.”
During the first trial against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, the plaintiff was awarded over $11 million. A similar case against Bard Avaulta resulted in a $5.5 million award. Many other awards or settlements are expected in the future as the vaginal mesh devices have all been deemed unsafe. Corrective surgery can be costly in some places and unavailable in others.
The bellwether trial against C.R. Bard over its vaginal mesh device implants is set to begin on September 23, 2013. Other manufacturers of similar devices are also being sued by numerous plaintiffs. Those manufacturers include American Medical Systems, Coloplast, Cook Medical and Boston Scientific. In fact, on July 13, 2011, in a safety memo, the FDA issued a warning that stated that “serious complications associated with surgical mesh for transvaginal repair of POP are not rare.” Some of the complications linked to the device implants include infections, erosion, vaginal scarring and painful intercourse. The awards in the first two trials offer hope to future plaintiffs that more awards will be handed down.