October 1, 2012 — Plaintiff and defense leadership roles have been assigned in the Coloplast vaginal mesh Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The MDL has centralized dozens of Coloplast vaginal mesh lawsuits throughout the nation into one federal court, located in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia before Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.
One of the first steps after an MDL is created is assigning attorneys to play various leadership roles. Judge Goodwin has already expressed his desire to have this litigation move as expeditiously as possible, and attorneys who volunteer for these roles should be prepared.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established the Coloplast MDL on August 6, 2012. Several other manufacturers are also facing MDLs in the same federal court, including American Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), and C.R. Bard.
Several attorneys have already been assigned leadership roles to coordinate tasks that are shared among the different MDLs. Because the MDLs all involve vaginal mesh products, there may be common questions of fact and legal issues.
In an order dated September 21, Judge Goodwin assigned three attorneys to serve as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. These attorneys are Riley Burnett, Jr., Mark Mueller, and Robert Salim. These attorneys will be responsible for speaking for plaintiffs during pretrial proceedings, submitting motions, making arguments in court, examining witnesses, introducing evidence, and other duties.
Judge Goodwin has already created a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which involves 60 attorneys who have been assigned various duties in the litigation. Each MDL has also been assigned Co-Lead Counsel.
Although the Coloplast MDL was formed after the MDLs against other manufacturers, Judge Goodwin expressed his desire to have the litigation move quickly to catch up to the others. The next status conferences is scheduled for November 2, 2012.
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