Women who have suffered severe complications from transvaginal mesh (TVM) will soon see their day in court. When the cases were consolidated into what are known as multi-district litigations (MDLs)–one per manufacturer–the pretrial process began. Now, with 2012 coming to an end, there is hope that 2013 will bring about the first bellwether trials for these cases.
The Importance of Bellwether Trials
Bellwether trials are cases chosen as representatives in an MDL. They function as indicators of what plaintiffs and defendants can expect in future litigation. If the bellwether trials show favoritism towards the women harmed by TVM, then mesh manufacturers will be more likely to skip the trial process and settle.
Since the legal proceedings can be quite long, the bellwether trials mark an important milestone for the victims of transvaginal mesh. Commencement of trials puts them one step closer to the compensation they deserve and hints at what they can expect from their own trial.
Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, who is overseeing five of the six MDLs against mesh manufacturers, issued a pretrial order on Nov. 2, 2012. The parties involved in the MDLs against American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific and Ethicon must determine whether bellwether trials should begin in 2013.
The women with lawsuits against C.R. Bard already look forward to the bellwether trials, which are scheduled for Feb. 5 and June 24.
First TVM Trial a Victory
Hopefully the case recently won against C.R. Bard is a forecast of what is to come. While not technically after a bellwether trial, the couple that sued C.R. Bard was awarded a large sum: $5.5 million. This victory demonstrates that the manufacturer in question did not fulfill its obligation to protect women.
What are your thoughts on how the bellwether trials will go? Are you optimistic or concerned? Do you have any questions about filing a lawsuit of your own? Please feel free to comment on your experiences with TVM. If you have been injured by a mesh device, please contact us.