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Plaintiffs Seek Transfer of Neomedic Mesh Lawsuits for Pretrial Proceedings

Twenty-one Neomedic mesh lawsuits may be on their way to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for coordinated and/or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to make the transfer.

The Panel determines whether civil actions pending in different federal districts should be transferred to one federal district for consolidated pretrial proceedings and selects the judge or judges and court assigned to conduct such proceedings. The purposes of this transfer or “centralization” process are to avoid duplication of discovery, to prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and to conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.

There are 21 Neomedic mesh lawsuits, including Needleless sling lawsuits, pending in eight federal districts: Southern District of West Virginia, Eastern District of Tennessee, Middle District of Tennessee, Middle District of Alabama, Southern District of Alabama, Western District of North Carolina, Western District of Pennsylvania, and District of Minnesota.

Plaintiffs seek transfer of Needless mesh lawsuits

In a November 8 brief, plaintiffs’ transvaginal mesh attorneys made the following claims to support their argument:

  • These actions involve similar product design, manufacturing defect and warnings claims against Neomedic regarding the women’s pelvic repair products that were implanted in these women,
  • The JPML has previously found that product liability actions involving similar claims relating to similar implantable medical devices are proper for centralization,
  • Several of these cases involve a plaintiff who had multiple pelvic repair products manufactured by different defendants implanted.  Some of these actions against other manufacturers are part of the MDLs currently pending in the Southern District of West Virginia,
  • The factual and legal issues involved in these pelvic repair product cases are intertwined no matter what manufacturer or model of the product involved,
  • Many of the serious injuries to women associated with these products are not unique to any particular product, but are common no matter who manufactured the product,
  • The Southern District of West Virginia is an appropriate forum for coordinated and/or consolidated pretrial proceedings of the Neomedic actions because it is “already handling the majority of related litigation that could be coordinated with the product actions involving other manufacturers,”
  • If these pelvic repair product cases are not in transvaginal mutidistrict litigation proceedings before a single court, attorneys representing both the plaintiffs and the defendants would litigate the same issues in several different federal courts, leading to potentially disparate and conflicting rulings, and
  • The drain on resources resulting from litigating these cases in different courts would diminish the ability of attorneys to fully and efficiently represent plaintiffs and defendants.

Vaginal mesh complications and litigation

The vaginal mesh products made by Neomedic, Inc., support and reinforce the body’s pelvic organs and tissues to treat stress urinary incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse. Plaintiffs claim they can erode and cause chronic infections, vaginal scarring, severe pain and other transvaginal mesh complications. The lawsuits allege Neomedic failed to provide instructions and appropriate warnings about their risks and the products were defectively designed, manufactured and marketed.

Women’s pelvic organ repair products sold by DIMA S.L., Neomedic International S.L., Neomedic Inc. and Specialties Remeex International S.L. (“Neomedic,” collectively) are subject of the legal actions. Particular models are the Needleless sling, the Contasure Needleless sling and the Remeex System implantable synthetic surgical mesh.