TRANSVAGINAL MESH IMPLANTS – An End of Year Update

By Kim Truongle –

AMS – Our firm is part of a multi-firm settlement with AMS.  If you are one of our AMS clients and have not yet been contacted by us, your contact information may be outdated, so please contact us at (800) 269-3050.  Settlement administration is expected to take many months, even into the year 2016 for many claimants, but the process is being moved as quickly as possible.  The best our clients can do to speed up settlement is to keep their contact information updated.  We will reach out to our clients when we have more information on specific settlement offers for each individual.

Ethicon/J&J – Currently, there are no active negotiations with Ethicon.  Instead, we are working to provide more information to Ethicon regarding a specific sampling of cases, presumably so the company can further analyze the nature of the docket.  The federal Ethicon trial slated to begin in the Southern District of West Virginia this month has been postponed to March, 2015.

Boston Scientific – Boston Scientific trials around the country have, so far, gone both ways – for some cases, Boston Scientific was found not liable; for other cases, Boston Scientific has had hefty verdicts handed down against them.  Many of our Boston Scientific cases are currently in negotiations, but no settlement has yet been reached.  Meanwhile, we are preparing a case for trial in the MDL system.

Bard – We are currently preparing a Bard case for trial.  There are no negotiations currently in Bard-only cases.  We are engaged in negotiations regarding other Bard-related claims involving mesh products co-manufactured by Tissue Science Laboratories Limited and Sofradim Production SAS, but no agreement to settle has yet been reached.

Other Manufacturers – We are also working on mesh cases manufactured by Coloplast and Cook, and these make up a much smaller percentage of our docket.  If you have a Coloplast or Cook case with us, please feel free to phone our office for an update on your specific case.

Case-Specific Updates – Due to the unique nature of these claims, our office usually does not proactively contact you unless a major development has occurred in your case.  Otherwise, our time would be spent just updating clients, instead of working on the case itself.  Not hearing from us does not mean that your case is idle, nor does it mean that you are not represented.  Instead, we have an “open door” policy that anytime you would like an update, simply phone us at (800) 269-3050 to speak to a Case Manager.  If one is unavailable due to the volume of calls, you will receive a callback within 1 business day.  Instead of generic updates done in a mass mailout, we think this method better keeps you updated on YOUR specific case, and it also works better to fit into your busy schedule.

We are pushing forward on our TVM cases and are honored to represent thousands of women who have been harmed by their mesh device.

Happy Holidays to you and yours as we look forward to 2015!

TVM Jury Awards Punitive Damages

Posted by Kim Truongle

March 1, 2013 – The jury that awarded a transvaginal mesh Plaintiff a $3.35 million verdict this week in New Jersey tacked on an additional $7.76 million award for punitive damages against the manufacturer Defendants.  

What are punitive damages?

Punitive damages are damages awarded to serve two purposes.  One, punitive damages are intended to punish the Defendants for wrongdoing and the wanton disregard of the Plaintiff’s rights.  Two, punitive damages are exemplary damages, or damages meant to set an example and deter similar wrongdoing by others.

 Does that mean my case will gross millions of dollars?

No.  The amount of this verdict has NO bearing on the value of individual cases.  Furthermore, although the Judge overseeing the New Jersey trial is a well-respected and highly regarded Judge, the likelihood of appeal is still high.

 What does this punitive damages verdict mean for my individual case?

The real impact this verdict has on the individual cases is that it is a weight that can push these particular Defendants to come to the negotiating table.  This does not mean they will settle the cases immediately, but it is a force that may push them towards negotiations sooner than later.

For additional questions on your TVM case, please call us at (800) 269-3050.

TVM Jury Verdict: What Does It Mean?

Posted by Kim Truongle

February 27, 2013 – Yesterday, a jury in New Jersey found in favor of a mesh implant Plaintiff, awarding her a $3.35 million verdict. What does this mean for your mesh implant case?

This does NOT mean that all mesh cases will gross millions, nor that they will resolve for anywhere near that much. It is important to remember that trials involve specific facts; some of them may be applicable to you, and some may not. Also keep in mind that despite this verdict, the odds of this Plaintiff receiving her funds any time soon are quite low. The likelihood that this case will be appealed by the Defendants to therefore keep the case tangled in further litigation is high. Furthermore, case expenses are usually borne by the client, meaning that the costs of bringing this Plaintiff’s case to trial will most likely come out of the funds she ultimately receives – trying a case against Johnson & Johnson or any pharmaceutical company is not cheap.

The jury in the New Jersey case unanimously found that there was no design defect and instead put the blame on the Defendants for other failures. Defective design is one key cause of action in these cases, so this shows that juries may not always side with the Plaintiffs regarding every issue alleged. In other words, despite some seemingly large dollar verdicts, in no way are mesh cases “slam dunk cases”.

This does NOT mean the cases are close to resolution or settlement. There is still more work to do before we can sit across the table from Defendants and negotiate a settlement that is fair. Valuation of a case involves both personal and legal facts, as we take into account what each client has and will go through, as well as the facts that help shape the legal framework. The latter may involve things like additional development of the science, finding out more about what the companies did or should have done, etc.

We are optimistic about the verdict out of New Jersey, but there is still a road ahead. Sometimes, that road will run smoothly, but there may also be a few bumps we will have to navigate around as we move ahead. As a national pharmaceutical litigation firm, we use our experience to stay the course towards a resolution that is fair for our clients. If you have any questions, please phone our office at (800) 269-3050.

AN UPDATE ON THE TRANSVAGINAL MESH CASES

By Kim Truongle –

December 6, 2012 – There are transvaginal mesh cases against many manufacturers moving forward across the country.

Johnson & Johnson pulled some of its mesh products off the market earlier this year. State-court cases against Johnson & Johnson are set to begin in New Jersey early next year.

The first MDL trial against the Bard Defendants is currently set for Spring of 2013. Earlier this year, there was a substantial amount of buzz surrounding a California Bard trial. It is important to be cautious of information on the internet and in the press regarding that trial. There were specific and unusual facts in that case that led to the outcome. Although there will be some indirect effect on our cases from that California trial, it is important to not assume that that the outcome there is an indicator of how any particular case may end up.

A new MDL was created in recent months in the Southern District of West Virginia, adding to the four other mesh MDLs already established in this court. The new MDL governs federal cases relating to the manufacturer Coloplast. We have filed cases in the Southern District of West Virginia and are active in this court system.

The Southern District of West Virginia Judge overseeing all mesh MDL cases has set forth strict Orders regarding requirements and deadlines that must be met. We are contacting our clients if any of those deadlines happen to apply to her individual case. It is important to note that there are key statements regarding what must be provided to the Defendants in these cases, and one of the most interesting items relates to the internet and social media. Anything a Plaintiff posts online, including onto social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and which relates to her experience with her mesh, must be saved and provided to the Defendants. Therefore, it is important that anyone involved in these cases be mindful before making any online post.

Meanwhile, we are diligently working on behalf of our transvaginal mesh clients, and we are handling each case on an individual basis. This process can take time, and it is normal for there to be seeming lulls in the individual case process as we investigate additional developments in the general cases. Clients and potential clients are always welcome to phone our office directly at (800) 269-3050 for more information. Our national pharmaceutical litigation firm has a dedicated team of attorneys, paralegals, and case managers actively working on the transvaginal mesh cases.

Johnson & Johnson Victory Upheld

Posted by Buck Daniel

August 7, 2012 – Federal judges in Mississippi have upheld a decision that grants victory to Johnson & Johnson in a case where the company’s transvaginal mesh product caused severe injuries. In this decision the court ruled that the plaintiff’s doctor would have still implanted the defective device even had he known of the dangers associated with the Johnson & Johnson product. The ruling was based upon the “learned intermediary doctrine,” which prevents a plaintiff from recovering  for an injury if a physician knew about a product’s risks but used it anyway. The court further ruled that two of the plaintiff’s medical experts did not qualify to be heard because their opinions related directly to the injuries of the plaintiff and did not speak to the warning, or more accurately the lack of warning, that Johnson & Johnson issued.

J & J Puts Profits Over Safety … Again

Posted by Shelley J. Blas, The Nations Law Firm

June 27, 2012 – In a recently discovered letter, the FDA directed Johnson & Johnson to stop selling their Gynecare Prolift vaginal mesh implant.

The letter, written in 2007, warned J&J to take the product off the market as it had not been approved and safety concerns needed to be addressed.  J&J continued to sell the product for 9 months unregulated.  The FDA did not sanction the company for its deliberate disregard of the order.  It appears that the agency lacks the necessary power and resources to enforce the proper safety measures, allowing companies to put patients at risk.

This is very disconcerting for the thousands of women out there who have been injured by the mesh products.  J&J has agreed to stop selling four of its vaginal meshes, including Prolift, but is not conducting a recall and says the decision has nothing to do with safety concerns, citing changing market conditions instead.

The Nations Law Firm represents women across the country who have been injured by these defective mesh products.  See our Transvaginal Mesh page for more information.