How much compensation can I expect from my lawsuit?
The amount of compensation will largely depend on the economic and non-economic losses you may have sustained as a result of the injuries caused by the transvaginal mesh implant. Every patient would have different circumstances and these will be presented during the trial. The actual amount will be determined by the jury and will be dependent on how their appreciation of the data.
As an example, the three cases resolved in courts as of August 2013 were awarded different amounts for damages.
Christine Scott in California was awarded $5 million; Linda Gross in New Jersey will be receiving $11.1 in compensatory and punitive damages while Donna Cisson in West Virginia was awarded $2million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Generally, you will be receiving compensation for the pain and suffering you may have endured; economic losses which may include past and future medical expenses, past and future income, and your husband may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium.
How do I know if I qualify for a mesh lawsuit?
Before any claims may be initiated, your case will be evaluated by your counsel. The important consideration is to determine if your injuries are the direct result of the vaginal mesh implanted for the repair of your pelvic floor disorder. Other relevant information such as medical records will be gathered to ensure that you have a solid case against the mesh manufacturer.
In view of the concern on statute of limitations, you need to consult with your lawyer if your case may not be affected by this law. You need to have a discussion with your counsel in order to have the best course of action for your case.
Will I still be represented even if I don’t have money?
Yes, you will be assisted by competent lawyers even without initially spending a dime for legal services. Compensation for the legal assistance will only be made after the case has been successfully resolved.
As a usual practice, the legal firm handling your claim will receive a certain percentage of the amount awarded to you, which will be agreed upon at the outset. Should the jury find the defendant not guilty, you are not expected to pay for the legal representation.
What happens after a mesh lawsuit is filed?
Once your case has been filed before the proper courts, two possibilities may occur. First, you may decide to settle your claim if an agreement is reached between you and the defendant. This scenario is very possible in light of the recent reports that defendants are in settlement talks with plaintiffs.
If no settlement is agreed, then your transvaginal mesh lawsuit will proceed under the normal legal process. After complying with all the requirements, your case may then be scheduled for trial by the presiding judge.
What is a multidistrict litigation (MDL)?
A multidistrict litigation or MDL is a judicial process in our federal court system which allows the transfer of similar cases filed in different federal courts to a single federal court for the purpose of consolidating pre-trial procedures. This will facilitate preliminary procedures which can be very time-consuming.
In the case of transvaginal mesh lawsuits filed in federal courts, six multidistrict litigations (MDLs) have been established under Judge Joseph Goodwin of the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
At present there are six MDLs in West Virginia with following mesh manufacturers named as defendants:
- Ethicon, Inc. (business unit of Johnson & Johnson)
- C.R. Bard
- Boston Scientific
- American Medical Systems (subsidiary of Endo Solutions)
- Cook Medical
- What is the current status of the vaginal mesh MDL?
Transvaginal mesh lawsuits in the MDL in West Virginia are proceeding quite satisfactorily. The first bellwether case heard last August against C.R. Bard was decided in favor of the plaintiff. Donna Cisson was awarded a total of $2 million as compensatory and punitive damages.
The second bellwether case against the same company was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Another claim against C.R. Bard will go on trial on December 3, 2013.
Other bellwether cases have also been scheduled against three major mesh manufacturers starting early next year. The companies named defendants in these cases are Ethicon, Inc., American Medical Systems, and Boston Scientific.
While trials dates have been set by the court, settlement talks between lawyers for the defendants and plaintiffs are reportedly ongoing. Except for Ethicon, all mesh manufacturers named in the MDL are said to be involved in these negotiations.
What are the complications associated with TVM?
In its public health notification issued on July 13, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enumerated the complications that may be associated with the use of transvaginal mesh for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This list was based on the adverse reports received by the agency from 2008 to 2010.
The adverse effects included in the report are the following:
- Vaginal mesh erosion (also called mesh exposure, extrusion, or protrusion)
- Pain (including painful sexual intercourse known as dyspareunia)
- Urinary problems
- Organ perforation
- Recurrent prolapse
- Neuro-muscular problems
- Vaginal scarring/shrinkage
- Emotional problems