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A Busy Year Ahead for AMS Transvaginal Mesh Maker

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New York, NYThe bellwether trials for Endo’s American Medical Systems (AMS) transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been scheduled, with the first trial this April 2014. There are currently about 40,000 transvaginal mesh injury lawsuits pending in the six multidistrict litigations, known as MDL’s. And that number is expected to rise dramatically.

The four vaginal mesh lawsuits scheduled for trial by Judge Joseph R. Goodwin who is overseeing MDLs (federal case consolidations) for lawsuits involving six different mesh defendants (In re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation; MDL-2325, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia) are as follows:

Serrano v. AMS, Inc., et al. ( 2:12-cv-03719)
Jilovec v. AMS, Inc. (2:12-cv-05561)
Weiler v. AMS, Inc. (2:12-cv-05836)
Fontes, et al. v. AMS, Inc. (2:12-cv-02472)

The Serrano case is scheduled for trial in the federal litigation underway in the Southern District of West Virginia on April 7, 2014, and that litigation’s second bellwether case will go before a jury on May 5, 2014.

Transvaginal Mesh Verdicts and Settlements

According to Bloomberg (September 30, 2013), AMS faces about 13,500 vaginal-mesh claims between state and federal suits. Last year Endo already settled some of its AMS transvaginal mesh lawsuits: the medical device company paid $54.5 million to settle an undetermined amount of cases alleging that the company’s TVM inserts were defective. Bloomberg also reported that five MDL defendants, including AMS, were considering vaginal mesh settlements.

This is potentially good news for transvaginal mesh plaintiffs. As well, two out of three previous vaginal mesh injury bellwether lawsuits against C. R. Bard, another TVM manufacturer, awarded the plaintiff compensation. In August 2013, a jury awarded plaintiff Donna Cisson approximately $2 million in damages (Cisson v. C. R. Bard, Inc., 2:11-cv-00195; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia) and the second trial was settled out of court (Queen et al v. C. R. Bard, Inc., 2:11-cv-00012; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia).

The first federal bellwether trial against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuits is slated for February 10, 2014 (Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al.), and a second trial set for June. According to court documents, one MDL case that ended in March resulted in an award for the plaintiff of more than $11 million.

As well as the 40,000 transvaginal mesh injury lawsuits pending in the six MDLs, more claimants are filing transvaginal mesh lawsuits. It is believed that the number of lawsuits could surpass 50,000.

That number is conservative given that the New York Times in 2010 reported about 185,000 women underwent procedures in which transvaginal mesh was implanted to treat urinary incontinence - in 2010 alone. “The Transvaginal Mesh, or Sling disaster may involve 10,000’s of US women with severe injuries,” it said.

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