In an effort to begin to unleash the logjam of 25,000 plus Ethicon Vaginal mesh suits in federal court, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in the Southern District of West Virginia set a November 2, 2015 trial date for 26 Ethicon cases. Ethicon, which is a Johnson & Johnson product has been resistant to settlement talks.
On May 28, 2015, a Delaware State court jury awarded Deborah Barba $25 million in compensatory damages, and an additional $75 million in punitive damages. The 51-year-old Barba was implanted with Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle and Advantage Fit mesh products in 2009, to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, according to her 2011 lawsuit. In her trial, Barba contended that the devices caused serious complications, and despite two subsequent surgeries to try to fix the problems, parts of the devices are still in her body, continuing to cause pain. The jury also found Boston Scientific engaged in fraud by failing to alert doctors to the devices’ faulty design. (See Deborah Barba v. Boston Scientific Corporation, Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County, C.A. No. N11C-08-050 MMJ.)
This is the sixth verdict against Boston Scientific for its mesh devices. Previously Boston Scientific agreed in May 2015 to a proposed 119 million settlement of some 2,970 vaginal mesh cases. In 2014, Boston Scientific won two cases before losing three in a row, including a $73 million award to a Texas woman, that was later reduced to$34 million.
Vaginal Mesh Trial History
Bard has lost two jury trials, settled a third case after a jury selected, and settled a fourth before trial commenced. In July 2012, a California jury awarded Christine Scott and her husband $5.5 million after she underwent nine revision surgeries. Scott sued C.R. Bard in 2009 over its Avaulta Plus mesh product.
In February 2013, Linda Gross won $11.11 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon brand over its Prolift vaginal mesh product. Gross had 18 surgeries. The New Jersey jury found that J&J failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks of its mesh products and made fraudulent misrepresentations.
On August 15, 2013, after about 12 hours of deliberation, the jury found for Donna Cisson in her vaginal mesh trial against manufacturer C.R. Bard Inc, and found damages in the amount of $250,000 and $1.75 million in punitive damages. The jury found that Bard failed to provide adequate warnings as to the defects in its vaginal mesh product and that the device was defective. Judge Joseph Goodwin upheld the 2 million verdict in October 2013 as appropriate and that Cisson’s attorneys proved the company’s vaginal mesh was the cause of her injuries.
In Queen vs. Bard, starting trial immediately after Cisson, a settlement was reached after the jury was selected. Finally, Bard settled Melanie Virgil’s claims that Bard’s Avaulta Plus insert caused urinary problems before trial commenced in New Jersey.
On February 18, 2014, Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Ethicon’s Motion for Directed Verdict at the close of Plaintiff’s case in Lewis vs. Ethicon, Inc. (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2327, Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 2:12-4301, S.D. W.Va.).
On April 4, 2014, a Dallas jury found for the plaintiff Linda Batiste and ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.2 million for its defective design of the Ethicon TVT-O pelvic mesh.
Two Massachusetts juries recently rejected women’s claims that Boston Scientific’s incontinence sling was defective designed and injured women.
On September 5, 2014, a federal jury in West Virginia found for the plaintiff Jo Huskey and ordered Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon to pay $3.27 million.
On September 9, 2014, a Dallas federal jury found for the plaintiff Martha Salazar and awarded a verdict against Boston Scientific of $73 million, including $50 million in punitive damages, which was later reduced to$34 million.
On November 18, 2014, 4 Florida women were awarded $27 million against Boston Scientific.
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