Plaintiffs in more than 500 lawsuits spread across two separate multidistrict litigations alleging defectively designed transvaginal mesh made by Bard Inc. and Ethicon Inc. caused serious injuries have requested their cases be moved out of West Virginia and into Pennsylvania federal court so that their claims could be dealt with faster.
More than 70,000 lawsuits in seven separate multidistrict litigations alleging injuries with transvaginal mesh from various manufacturers are pending in West Virginia. At least 23,000 of those are waged against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, and another 10,000 have been filed against Bard.
This week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, who oversees the seven transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigations, consolidated 26 lawsuits against Ethicon, which will save parties the extra expense of litigating multiple separate trials. Those lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial in November.
The backlog in West Virginia has been plodding along. In March, Johnson & Johnson settled a bellwether case in a multidistrict litigation after just five days of trial. The settlement came just months after a $3.3 million verdict against Ethicon in another transvaginal mesh bellwether case. Another Ethicon transvaginal mesh trial is expected to begin in August.
Bard was ordered to pay $2 million in a multidistrict litigation case in August 2013.
The 570 cases in the request for transfer to Pennsylvania from West Virginia involve 414 against Ethicon and 155 against Bard.
“Due to the volume of cases in this MDL and their pace of resolution, it is not likely that plaintiffs’ cases will be timely tried and plaintiffs will thus be denied a reasonably prompt adjudication of their claims,” plaintiffs’ attorneys said.