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What Are the Statuses of the Bladder Sling Multidistrict Litigations?

Many of the plaintiffs who sued vaginal mesh manufacturers chose to join the multidistrict litigations (MDLs) pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia before Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. Others chose to use state court analogues to MDL such as New Jersey’s multicounty litigation (MCL). This page discusses the status of these proceedings.

Five MDLs Are Pending Against Mesh Manufacturers

Here is a brief timeline of the cases in MDL:

  • October 2010 – The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidates all lawsuits against C.R. Bard over its Avaulta Mesh and centralizes them in the Southern District of West Virginia.
  • February 2012 – The JPML creates three new MDLs in West Virginia with American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and Ethicon, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) as defendants.
  • August 2012 – The JPML creates the fifth MDL in West Virginia against Coloplast Corp.
  • February 2013 – The first bellwether trials against C.R. Bard are scheduled to begin, and the remaining vaginal mesh MDLs should be ready for bellwether trials by June 2013.

MCL Covers Two Mesh Manufacturers’ Products

Things have been moving slightly more quickly for the New Jersey MCL, which is before Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee and contains meshes made by C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson (Gynecare Mesh). Like the first mesh MDL against C.R. Bard, the MCL was created in October 2010, but its first bellwether trials were scheduled to begin in November 2012.

What Is MDL?

Created in recent decades, MDL is a procedural system that consolidates pretrial proceedings for numerous plaintiffs who are suing a single defendant for causing similar injuries but to varying degrees. Unlike a class action lawsuit, an MDL allows plaintiffs to maintain their original cases while at the same time ensuring that they are compensated for their individual injuries rather than receiving a lump sum award distributed equally. Either the plaintiffs or the defendant files a motion with the JPML to decide on whether the cases should be centralized, and after hearing arguments from the parties, it chooses to consolidate the cases to a federal district court before a “transferee judge.” Subsequent cases are transferred to the MDL court, and the parties conduct pretrial proceedings (“discovery”) while the transferee judge issues rulings on motions that are binding on all parties. After discovery is concluded, the MDL court schedules “bellwether” trials of a handful of plaintiffs’ cases, after which the remaining parties can use the results to determine the value of their cases and choose to either settle them or proceed to trial themselves.

RLG Is Accepting Vaginal Mesh Cases

If you underwent a vaginal mesh procedure and believe the product injured you, contact your physician. After that, talk to a lawyer about seeking compensation from the manufacturer. The lawyers of the Rottenstein Law Group have more than 25 years of experience altogether and offer free, confidential legal consultations. All you have to do is click on this link or call 1-800-624-9567 and a lawyer from RLG will call you as soon as possible.

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