Ethicon Transvaginal Mesh MDL Lawsuit Update

TVM woman cryingThousands of women have come forward to bring lawsuits against the makers of transvaginal mesh products, alleging that they suffered serious, painful, and in some cases permanent injuries as a result of the products’ dangerous nature. Ethicon is one of the main manufacturers implicated in these lawsuits, which is a subsidiary of major health product manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

In general, these lawsuits claim that after receiving an Ethicon transvaginal mesh implant, the women experienced a variety of adverse effects, including abdominal pain, painful intercourse, and other complications as the result of the device migrating after implantation or otherwise not functioning as promised in the marketing materials associated with the device. Several of these women required subsequent revision surgeries and will need constant ongoing care to monitor the resulting complications.

There have been so many lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson regarding the Ethicon product that the lawsuits have been organized into an MDL or multi-district litigation. Similar to a class action, an MDL proceeding seeks to associate cases that have common facts, legal claims, and injuries. This helps expedite the processing of these cases and promotes consistency in how each case is adjudicated.

Unlike in a class action, however, each plaintiff in an MDL case must prove his or her case and the compensation that he or she is owed. After the MDL is formed, the parties will typically select plaintiffs whose cases are most representative of the MDL plaintiffs’ broader claims and injuries. Referred to as “bellwether plaintiffs,” the parties will then litigate these claims at a trial and use the results to begin negotiating a global settlement for all of the plaintiffs in the MDL.

Recently, the plaintiffs in the Ethicon MDL asserted that one of Johnson & Johnson’s experts admitted that the company was aware in 1992 that the plastic used in its Ethicon product tended to degrade after it was implanted in female patients. The witness, Dr. Thomas Barbolt, purportedly testified that the mesh devices experience an in vivo surface degradation. The defendants have hired another expert witness to explain Dr. Barbolt’s testimony. According to documents from the MDL lawsuit, the plaintiffs are accusing the defendants of hiring this new expert solely to “undo this damaging testimony” by presenting contradicting opinions.

The plaintiffs have also identified alleged issues with the second expert’s testimony, including noting that he relies on data from a seven-year-old study involving canines and the fact that he said he was “unqualified to offer pathology opinions.”

If you have been injured as the result of a transvaginal mesh product, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced, compassionate, and forceful transvaginal mesh lawyers at Moll Law Group have helped women and their families across the nation seek justice after suffering painful and devastating injuries, including plaintiffs in California, New York, Illinois, and Texas. We offer a free consultation to help you understand more about the MDL system, whether you may have a viable legal claim, and the legal remedies that may be available to you. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to schedule your free confidential consultation today.

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