More than 60 lawsuits claiming Johnson & Johnson’s unit Ethicon Inc., manufactured and marketed defectively designed transvaginal mesh devices will be added to one of seven similar multidistrict litigations (MDL) in West Virginia federal court despite protests from plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs from the Northern District of Texas, Eastern District of Kentucky and the Central District of California brought up various arguments including the MDL being too far along for new plaintiffs to enter. “While the relative merits of transferring new tag-along actions to an MDL can change over time, plaintiffs have not demonstrated that transfer would not promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation,” the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation said.
The new wave of lawsuits fall in step with the MDL’s claims, which allege Ethicon’s transvaginal mesh caused women to suffer injuries, and that the company did not adequately warn of the risks posed by its device. The seven MDLs contain more than 70,000 cases, which are assigned to U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.
Transvaginal mesh, also known as vaginal mesh or bladder slings, are a type of surgical mesh used to treat pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The devices have been associated with serious complications including erosion or protrusion into tissue or organs causing chronic pain, infections, hemorrhaging, and disability. Many women have had to undergo repeated surgeries to remove the mesh, and some suffer lifelong problems.