Transvaginal mesh (TVM) product liability cases are moving forward in federal court with the appointment of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs and other assignments handed down by the presiding judge.
Judge Joseph R. Goodwin chose Bryan F. Aylstock (Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis, and Overholtz), Henry Garrard (Blasingame, Burch, Garrard, Ashley) and Fred Thompson (Motley Rice) to head up the TVM cases in the Southern District of West Virginia. The cases have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Cases Consolidated into MDL
In an MDL, the pre-trial proceedings of similar cases are heard together for efficiency, but each case has its own trial. (In a class action, the lawsuits are tried together as one case for all the plaintiffs.) Recently, three MDLs were consolidated into a fourth with almost 150 cases: Ethicon, Inc (MDL No. 2327), American Medical Systems, Inc. (MDL No. 2325), and Boston Scientific Corp. (MDL No. 2326).
Among those is the newest filing in April by Minnesota resident Stacey Pangborn. She is suing manufacturer Ethicon and parent company Johnson & Johnson over the TVM complications she experienced after being implanted with the Gynecare Gynemesh product to treat her pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
After the surgery, she has had recurring incontinence and prolapse; severe abdominal, pelvic, and vaginal pain; and mental and physical pain.
Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) Oversees Process
Pangborn is one of millions of women to be implanted with transvaginal mesh to repair POP or SUI, which are caused by weak pelvic muscles, often from childbirth and pregnancy.
The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) is a team of attorneys who will oversee the entire process and guide the plaintiffs’ side of the litigation, coordinating the large number of lawsuits.
The judge also set up some procedures for discovery, which will be coordinated among all of the attorneys, and determined that status hearings will happen every 45 to 60 days.