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Free & Goss Attorneys

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As the New Year starts, we’d like to update everyone on the status of Pelvic Mesh litigation; 2014 was a busy year marked by numerous trials.  While Plaintiffs did not win all cases that went to trial, they were successful in the majority of trials to reach the jury. Here, we’ve attempted to summarize those victories, starting with the first two in 2012 and 2013 respectively.  In total, 2014 was marked by five verdicts for the plaintiffs, two of which were tried by our attorneys at Freese & Goss:

  • July, 2012: The first Pelvic Mesh case against Bard was tried in Bakersfield, California. The device at issue was Bard’s Pelvic Organ Prolapse device, the Avaulta.  The jury there awarded the Plaintiff, and her husband, a combined $5.5 million.  More recently, Bard’s appeal to the California Appellate Court was denied, and the verdict upheld.  Scott v. C.R. Bard, Inc.[i]
  • February, 2013: A New Jersey jury found Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon liable for $11.1 million in compensatory and punitive damages related to the implantation of their pelvic organ prolapse device, the Prolift. Gross v. Ethicon.[ii]
  • February 2014: In Texas state court, Freese & Goss won the first case involving a product for stress urinary incontinence. There, Johnson & Johnson was held liable for $1.2 million in damages for injuries related to the implantation of their TVT-O device.  Their appeal is still pending.  Batiste v. McNabb.[iii]
  • September, 2014: In another Texas State Court trial, Freese & Goss established the first verdict against Boston Scientific over their Obtryx device. This was the first verdict against Boston Scientific involving a sling.  The jury awarded both compensatory and punitive damages, totaling over $72 million.  Due to tort reform in Texas, the award was immediately reduced to $32 million.  Boston Scientific has said they will appeal the verdict.  Salazar v. Lopez.[iv]
  • September, 2014: Plaintiff’s in the West Virginia state court also won their case against Ethicon over the TVT-O device for stress urinary incontinence. There, the jury awarded plaintiff $3.27 million.  Huskey v. Ethicon.[v]
  • October, 2014: AMS parent company Endo announced plans to settle all mesh claims against them globally. That is, their intent is to settle all claims for all plaintiffs at one time.  The terms of the settlement are still unknown and in development.[vi]
  • November, 2014: Four plaintiffs had their cases tried concurrently in Miami Florida by Judge Goodwin, their cases all involved the implantation of Boston Scientific’s pelvic organ prolapse device, the Pinnacle. Jurors awarded the plaintiffs $26.7 million.  Eghnayem v. Boston Scientific Corp.[vii]
  • November, 2014: Four women had their cases tried concurrently in West Virginia over the implantation of Boston Scientific’s Obtryx device. The jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $22.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.  Tyree v. Boston Scientific Corp.[viii]
  • December, 2014: Judge Goodwin, who oversees the vast majority of mesh claims in various West Virginia MDLs, was quoted in Bloomberg, stating, “I can’t imagine a corporation facing potentially billions of dollars in verdicts wouldn’t find it advisable to try to achieve a settlement for a much lesser sum.” This could be an indication that Judge Goodwin is preparing to put additional pressure on defendants to resolve cases against them.[ix]
  • January, 2015: Our firm again prepares for trial, this time in Bakersfield, California. The trial involves another of Johnson & Johnson’s stress urinary incontinence, the TVT-Abbrevo, essentially a slightly shorter version of the TVT-O.

We would also like to note that many clients have reported to us various forms of unethical behavior, as well as what are clearly scams intended to victimize those already hurting.  In most cases, clients report receiving cold-calls from what appears to be a foreign call center, and the caller typically knows a disturbing quantity of personal information such as surgery dates, addresses, and social security numbers.  The scam typically revolves around some type of settlement or other monetary award being held for the client.  In some instances, the caller has requested some form of ‘processing fee,’ personal information, and/or case status.  In the most egregious cases, they have represented themselves as being employed by Freese & Goss, and that we were terminating the client’s representation.  Whatever the variant of the call, these are all scams.  We encourage you, as we have done, to report these violations to your State Bar Association, local authorities, and the Federal Trade Commission.  We also urge you to call us and report what has happened as we are still attempting to have various authorities take action.

[i] Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, Bard, Doctor Ordered to Pay $5.5 Million Over Implant, July 25, 2012.

[ii] Joshua Alston, Law360, NJ Judge won’t Disturb $11M Award in J&J Mesh Mass Tort, July 17, 2014.

[iii] Amy Silverstein, Dallas Observer, Women vs. Big Pharma in the Battle Over Trans-Vaginal Mesh, May 1, 2014.

[iv] Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, Boston Scientific Ordered to Pay $73 Million over Implant, September 9, 2014.

[v] Jessica Dye, Reuters.com, Jury Hits Ethicon with $3.25 mln Verdict in Mesh Case, September 5, 2014

[vi] Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, Endo Said to Pay $400 Million Plus in Vaginal-Mesh Accord, October 1, 2014.

[vii] Jef Feeley & Susannah Nesmith, Bloomber.com, Boston Scientific Loses First Federal Trial Over Mesh, November 13, 2014.

[viii] Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, Boston Scientific Vaginal-Mesh Victims Win $18.5 Million, November 20, 2014.

[ix] Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, Bard Judge Says Implant Maker Facing Billions in Verdicts, December 11, 2014.