Mentor Corp., a division of Johnson & Johnson, is one step closer to having to defend itself in court, as six cases from a pool of thousands have been selected as potential bellwethers to be tried this fall. These cases are all pending in the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Mentor, which has been set up to facilitate pre-trial proceedings (In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2004).
Now that the six potential bellwethers have been chosen, U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land, who is overseeing the MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia (Columbus Division), has ordered that, within three weeks:
- A schedule is put in place for the ongoing discovery process.
- A process is chosen for identifying which two of the six cases will move forward to trial this October and November.
Mentor Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits: The Importance of the Bellwether Cases
The six possible bellwether cases that have been selected by the Honorable Clay D. Land were filed between 2011 and 2013, with plaintiffs who include four couples (spouses) and two individual women. Bellwether cases are central to MDLs like this Mentor litigation because they are representative cases that provide crucial indicators of how:
- Judges will rule on various motions and evidence.
- Juries will receive certain evidence, as well as how juries’ verdicts are likely to fall in the future.
- Compensation for the plaintiffs may be awarded (especially when it comes to the possibility and/or amount of punitive damages in these cases).
Consequently, the cases that are typically chosen as bellwethers are those that involve allegations that are generally representative of a majority of the claims in the MDL. For the Mentor vaginal mesh lawsuits in MDL No. 2004, such allegations would generally include (but by no means be limited to) the following:
- Mentor Corp. defectively designed its ObTape slings and failed to adequately test their safety and efficacy before marketing them in the U.S.
- Mentor Corp. failed to warn the public about the risks of developing serious injuries when using its ObTape slings. Complications related to these slings have reportedly included perforation of the internal organs, erosion of the mesh through the vaginal lining and constant, severe pelvic pain.
As these Mentor vaginal mesh lawsuits continue to slowly move closer to trial, we’ll continue to bring you the latest updates about them here.
Vaginal Mesh Lawsuit Funding at Case Funding
If you or your law firm is litigating any type of vaginal mesh case and needs financial litigation support, contact Case Funding to learn more about our lawsuit funding services.
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