Women from more than 100 lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging injuries caused by Johnson & Johnson unit Mentor Corp.’s defective transvaginal mesh implant asked a Georgia federal judge this week to approve the establishment of a settlement fund trust to resolve their claims.
The qualified settlement fund trust would hold, manage and distribute funds in the account under the settlements reached in April for 111 lawsuits in the multidistrict litigation. The trust would also cover additional lawsuits as they resolve. Both the settlements and the total amount in the trust are confidential.
The lawsuits allege that Mentor Corp.’s transobturator transvaginal sling, marketed as ObTape, eroded inside women’s bodies causing many to need multiple surgeries to remove the device. The lawsuits also claim the device was not properly tested. Mentor marketed the ObTape from 2003 to 2006, when it discontinued the product.
Transvaginal mesh is used to treat common pelvic floor disorders including pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
The request for the establishment of a fund came after attorneys representing several plaintiffs in the lawsuit met with attorneys with Mentor Corp. in a joint mediation where they reached an agreement.
But the fight is not over for Mentor Corp. or Johnson & Johnson. Hundreds more lawsuits remain in the multidistrict litigation, and trials for bellwether cases are scheduled to begin later this year.