Albertson & Davidson, LLP Obtains Federal Court Order Returning Third Vaginal Mesh Case to California State Court

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Albertson & Davidson obtains Federal court order returning a third vaginal mesh case to California state court against the wishes of vaginal mesh manufacturer American Medical Systems, Inc.

Stewart R. Albertson

This is the third vaginal mesh case that's been ordered back to California state court in the past few weeks.

On Friday U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker ordered a vaginal mesh case back to California state court against the wishes of vaginal mesh manufacturer American Medical Systems, Inc., ruling that a California doctor was not fraudulently misjoined as a defendant in the original state court suit. The federal case was filed under case number SACV 13-325-JST-(JPRx).

Plaintiff Marilyn Goodwin filed suit on January 9, 2013 in the Orange County Superior Court under case number 30-2013-00622920-CU-PL-CJC, alleging that American Medical System’s medical devices, namely, the Monarc Subfascial Hammock and the Elevate Anterior & Apical Prolapse Repair System with InterproLite caused significant injuries to her vaginal region. In that same suit, Ms. Goodwin sued the medical doctor who surgically implanted American Medical System’s vaginal mesh products.

American Medical Systems, which is facing multidistrict litigation in approximately 6,000 cases in a West Virginia Federal Court, under MDL number 2325, removed Ms. Goodwin’s case to federal court claiming that the California doctor was fraudulently misjoined in the state suit (meaning the doctor was joined for the sole purpose of destroying Federal Court jurisdiction). But U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker disagreed, ruling that the California doctor was an appropriate defendant in the state court suit. Accordingly, Judge Tucker sent the case back to Orange County Superior Court.

Albertson & Davidson, LLP partner Stewart R. Albertson, an attorney for Goodwin, said in a statement that vaginal mesh manufacturers remove these cases from state court hoping they will not see the light of day.

“This is the third vaginal mesh case that’s been ordered back to California state court in the past few weeks” said attorney Albertson. “On March 13 we were able to get another case—Haston v. Yeo, case number ED CV 13-00364-JFW (OPx)—ordered back to Riverside County Superior Court, which also involved American Medical Systems, Inc. Then on April 1 we were able to get a second case—Lung v. Schlesinger, case number CV 13-006720-SJO-(CWx)—which involves vaginal mesh manufacturer C. R. Bard, Inc., ordered back to Los Angeles County Superior Court. We have two more cases that were removed in late February that are still awaiting a ruling from the Federal court,” stated Albertson.

The other two cases Albertson refers to were removed to Federal court in February by American Medical Systems. Those cases are: Cooper v. Siddighi 5:13-cv-00345-JGB-SP, and Guardado v. Highshaw 5:13-cv-00365-PSG-SP. “The hearings on the remaining two vaginal mesh cases will be heard in the next few weeks in Federal court and then we’ll know if those cases will be remanded too,” said Albertson.

Stewart R. Albertson represents injured California patients in a number of vaginal mesh cases filed in California state courts against vaginal mesh companies. His next trial—Carpenter v. American Medical Systems, Inc., case number CIVDS 1007094—is set for May 13, 2013 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

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Keith Davidson
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