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Good on Judge Goodwin and AMS Transvaginal Mesh

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Bakersfield, CAWhile Judge Joseph Goodwin has praised American Medical Systems, the maker of AMS transvaginal mesh, for settling its transvaginal mesh lawsuits, other TVM manufacturers have infuriated him. But it appears that AMS and Judge Goodwin have finally paved the way for others to finally settle, just as transvaginal mesh lawyers predicted.

Reuters (February 5) reported that Judge Goodwin told a courtroom filled with plaintiffs’ lawyers and representatives for the seven key defendants, including Boston Scientific Corp, C.R. Bard and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc., that he is “going to kick it into high gear and ask that you do the same.” Goodwin told both plaintiffs and defendants that they must work harder to settle more than 70,000 TVM lawsuits consolidated before him.

If these cases are not soon resolved, Judge Goodwin said it would take decades to try them - by unpredictable jurors - and cost millions of dollars in legal fees. If a settlement isn’t reached soon, Goodwin “promised he would send them to trial as quickly as possible,” according to Reuters.

Endo (the owner of AMS) says most of its AMS transvaginal mesh lawsuits have been settled, mostly involving the Perigee, Apogee and Elevate mesh implants. The company has agreed to pay almost $1.3 billion to resolve more than 30,000 claims. The average settlement ranges from $40,000 to $50,000, but a number of women who suffered severe TVM side effects and revision surgeries could receive up to $400,000.

However, at least one AMS transvaginal mesh attorney and a number of women who have been offered the lesser amounts say it isn’t enough for the pain and suffering they have endured. “The short answer regarding the amount of the AMS settlement is that there is never enough money, but some is better than nothing, and paying money damages is all the TVM maker can do,” said attorney Dr. Malik.

Endo settled more than 10,000 lawsuits earlier this year after the FDA announced that transvaginal mesh is a high-risk device and stricter safety requirements are needed. AMS expects to fund the payments under all settlements that began in 2014 and are expected to end in 2017. AMS is up for sale, according to The Wall Street Journal. Four years ago, Endo bought AMS for $2.9 billion. In part due to its transvaginal mesh settlements, the company is worth about $2 billion today, and maybe less tomorrow - AMS transvaginal cases are still being filed.

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