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.