August 15, 2014 — Boston Scientific began the second “bellwether” trial involving vaginal mesh yesterday, fresh off a victory in the first trial last month.
Law360.com reports that the plaintiff, Maria Cardenas, is represented by an entirely different legal team than the one Boston Scientific faced in the first trial.
Cardenas is seeking compensation for injuries she blames on a defective vaginal mesh product designed by Boston Scientific. The trial is expected to take 2 to 4 weeks.
This is the second case to go to trial in Massachusetts. About 1,700 similar lawsuits are pending in New Jersey. Nationwide, Boston Scientific is facing about 12,000 vaginal mesh lawsuits. Another trial is scheduled to begin in September in a Delaware state court.
In the first “bellwether” trial, a jury decided that Boston Scientific’s Pinnacle vaginal mesh was properly designed and the plaintiff, Diane Albright, was given adequate warnings about its risks. She was implanted with the mesh in 2010 and suffered debilitating injuries when it eroded into her body.
About 60,000 similar cases are pending in state and federal courts around the nation against six other major manufacturers, including C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, Cook Medical, American Medical Systems, Endo Health Solutions, and Coloplast.
The “bellwether” trial process is designed to help attorneys gauge how a jury will respond to evidence, legal arguments, and expert witness testimony. If the jury awards compensation, it can help expedite settlements for plaintiffs in lawsuits with similar factual allegations.
Several vaginal mesh lawsuits against other manufacturers have been awarded multi-million dollar jury verdicts. Last month, a federal judge upheld an $11 million jury award to Linda Gross, a woman who was injured by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Prolift vaginal mesh. Around the same time, C.R. Bard agreed to settle about 500 lawsuits for an undisclosed sum.
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