Bellwethers Scheduled for 2013

Kimbell Art Museum (2)Last July plaintiff Christine Scott was awarded $5 million from C.R. Bard for her transvaginal mesh injuries together with an award for her husband of $500,000 for loss of consortium.  (SEE:  California Appeal of C.R. Bard judgment.)

Ethicon Trial in New Jersey January 2013

The first trial in a consolidated proceeding established for Ethicon vaginal mesh lawsuits in New Jersey Superior Court, Atlantic County division, is scheduled to begin in January 2013.  This is consolidated litigation established in Atlantic County for lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh products manufactured by C.R. Bard. (In re: Pelvic Mesh Litigation/Bard, No. L-6339-10; In re Pelvic Mesh/Gynecare Litigation, No. 6341-10)

See:  New Jersey Multi-District Litigation

West Virginia Multi-District Litigation

Bellwether trials involving transvaginal mesh lawsuits are set to begin in 2013 in four multidistrict litigations underway in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia.

The lawsuit against C.R. Bard (NYSE: BCR) is scheduled for February 2013,  in West Virgina. C.R. Bard is one of the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh.  (See:  Who Is C.R. Bard.)

In a Pretrial Order issued on May 2, 2012, the Court directed that the first trial in In re: C.R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2187”) would begin on February 5, 2013.

According to court documents, it was determined during a December 6th Status Conference that the first trial in In re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2325”) will begin on December 3, 2013. That proceeding will be followed by the first trials in In re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2327”) and In re: Boston Scientific Corp., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2326), respectively.

Hip Implant Multi-District Litigation

It is important to watch other multi-district litigation to observe the trends in jury evaluations and decisions.  As the public becomes more sophisticated regarding potential exploitation of FDA loopholes and the indifference to the consequence to patients, we may begin to see verdicts trending upwards.  See:  Johnson & Johnson Litigation

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) manufactured through DePuy Orthopaedics’ a metal-on-metal hip implant. Bellwether Trials are set fro September and October in New Jersey.

The lawsuits against DePuy allege that the company was aware of complications arising from its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants, but failed to warn physicians.

DePuy Orthopaedics is facing more than 6,000 claims in a multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio involving its ASR hip replacement devices. The DePuy ASR hip recall was issued in August 2010, after the devices were found to have an unacceptably high failure rate.

The first trial in the federal DePuy ASR hip litigation will begin on May 6, 2013 with a second trial set for July 8, 2013. (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation – MDL 2197).

DePuy is involved in a second multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, involving a metal-on-metal version of its Pinnacle Hip Replacement System. The first trial in the DePuy Pinnacle litigation is scheduled for September 2014. (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2244)

What Is a Bellwether Trial

Bellwether trials are set in multi-district (or in state court in multi-county) litigation to allow plaintiffs’ and defendant’s attorneys to evaluate the strength of the evidence.  Plaintiffs are are selected from the much larger group of pending cases with the belief that the bellwether trial will enable the parties to predict how other trials on the same issues would be decided.  The evidence provides a a rational basis for determining the value of other cases for settlement purposes.

By presenting a case to a jury after full discovery attorneys involved are better able to evaluate the responsibility of medical device and/or pharmaceutical company injuries suffered.  Compensation through settlement is evaluated in light of the strength of the case presented.

After the bellwether trial parties have the option to choose to settle claims with other victims, dismiss the suit altogether, or move forward with trials involving other victims.

What is multi-district litigation?

“Multi-district litigation” consolidates – in a federal court – multiple cases that have been filed in multiple jurisdictions around the country under the supervision of a single judge. Multi-county litigation has the same impact in state courts.  New Jersey and Pennsylvania are common jurisdictions for multi-county litigation.

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