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Transvaginal Mesh Lawyers Seek MDL for Neomedic Sling Lawsuits

With at least 22 pending Neomedic sling lawsuits pending in eight different United States district courts, plaintiffs are calling for the creation of a new multidistrict litigation (MDL). Transvaginal mesh lawyers for the plaintiffs have moved to have the pending Neomedic lawsuits consolidated before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Judge Goodwin is already presiding over six current multidistrict litigations that have arisen because of problems with transvaginal mesh products.

If the Neomedic cases are consolidated, this would be the seventh multidistrict litigation to be presided over by Judge Goodwin.

Transvaginal mesh lawyers see benefits in consolidating Neomedic sling lawsuits

Multidistrict litigations are created so that claims related to transvaginal mesh and other defective devices can be resolved more expediently, reducing strain on plaintiffs and on court personnel.  While each individual plaintiff will continue to have a separate independent claim, a single judge will be able to preside over common issues that are relevant to all cases.

The complaints in the pending Neomedic sling lawsuits are very similar to those made by plaintiffs whose cases have already been centralized in multidistrict litigations pertaining to other pelvic mesh devices. Plaintiffs in all cases have experienced damage or complications as a result of erosion of the vaginal mesh or bladder sling.

The similarity of the plaintiffs’ complaints in regard to the Neomedic sling could provide justification for the creation of a seventh multidistrict litigation.  In a brief arguing for the creation of the new MDL, transvaginal mesh attorneys for the plaintiff asserted that the “factual and legal issues” related to all transvaginal mesh cases are “inextricably” intertwined, regardless of who manufactured the mesh products.

Manufacturers who already have pelvic mesh lawsuits pending in MDLs in West Virginia already include Ethicon, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, Bard, Coloplast, and Cook Medical.

Neomedic argues against the consolidation of cases, asserting that the creation of a separate MDL is an “unnecessary waste” of the court’s resources because plaintiffs failed to provide proof that consolidation would allow the pending actions to be resolved more efficiently.

Multidistrict litigations moving forward

The six multidistrict litigations that Judge Goodwin is currently presiding over are moving forward rapidly, with a series of bellwether cases expected to begin in the first half of 2014.  The purpose of the bellwether cases is to assist plaintiffs and defendants in developing a better understanding of how juries will respond to their arguments in trial. The outcome of the cases can set the groundwork for future settlement talks between plaintiffs and defendants.

Plaintiffs and defendants can also look to the four transvaginal mesh cases that have already progressed to trial.  One case, in California in 2012, ended with plaintiff being awarded $5.5 million in damages against C.R. Bard. Another case in March of 2013 resulted in a New Jersey State court jury awarding $11.1 million to the plaintiff in a claim against Ethicon.

If the Neomedic sling lawsuits are not consolidated into a multidistrict litigation, the claims (involving 43 different women) will continue to move forward in eight different U.S. District Courts throughout the country.

  1. United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, MDL 2327 Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin,

  2. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation,