The recent settlement between C.R. Bard, a manufacturer of transvaginal mesh (TVM) indicates an inclination to settle with many of the thousands of Plaintiffs bringing similar claims. The first bellwether trials for Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon Division and C.R. Bard commenced and both mesh manufacturers were hit for millions in damages after pro-plaintiff verdicts were returned by the juries.
Per its definition, a bellwether indicates upcoming trends. A bellwether tactic is used by courts when many plaintiffs are bringing similar claims and courts are limited in how they can handle such a large caseload.
Thus far, the women chosen to represent others injured by TVM implantation have been victorious in their claims. After the most recent $2 million settlement, many believe this indicates a general willingness amongst TVM manufacturers to settle with the thousands of Plaintiffs bringing suit rather than face the uncertainties and unpredictable nature of the civil jury system.
Earlier this year, the FDA released an advisory listing the most prevalent complications reported including mesh erosion into the vaginal walls, urinary problems, discomfort and reoccurring prolapse and/or incontinence.
Many women reported having a severe pain which interferes with daily activities including walking, sitting and sexual intercourse. Such hindrances have resulted in a significantly lower quality of life for many women.
Six TVM manufacturers are facing lawsuits alleging, among other claims, that they intentionally mislead patients, the FDA and medical professionals regarding the safety of the products. The six manufacturers are C.R. Bard, Inc., American Medical Systems Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., Ethicon, Inc., Coloplast Corp., and Cook Medical, Inc.
Damages sought include loss of wages, medical expenses, which include the costs of additional corrective surgeries, loss of spousal consortium, pain and suffering, loss to quality of life and in some cases, punitive damages.
Bahe Cook Cantley & Nefzger is currently reviewing and accepting these cases.