Athens, GA (PRWEB) May 03, 2012
The judge presiding over all federal lawsuits against transvaginal mesh manufacturer C.R. Bard, Inc. (“Bard”), has set February 5, 2013, as the first bellwether trial date in the multidistrict litigation case over the allegedly defective implants sold by Bard.
Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin issued the bellwether trial date order on May 1, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, where the Bard case (MDL No. 2187) has been litigated since 2010.
Bard sells the Avaulta transvaginal mesh products, including the Avaulta BioSynthetic, Avaulta Plus and Avaulta Solo support systems, as well as a number of other women’s pelvic repair products: Pelvitex, Pelvicol, PelviSoft, PelviLace, Uretex, and Align.
“The trial court’s order marks a major milestone for women across the country who have suffered serious physical and emotional injuries from products that, we believe, were rushed to the market without first being shown to be safe or effective,” said Georgia transvaginal mesh attorney Henry G. Garrard III, Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs.
“The next step is to establish a proposed discovery schedule that will need to be presented to the court, as well as a discovery schedule for additional cases that involve women implanted with Bard products beyond the three generations of the Avaulta products,” he said.
Multidistrict litigation cases, or MDLs, involve the consolidation of lawsuits filed in federal courts across the country that allege similar claims involving common parties. An MDL allows one judge to preside over pre-trial proceedings such as discovery and motions. Although the cases are before the same court, each lawsuit remains separate and distinct. It is not a class-action.
In a bellwether trial, certain plaintiffs in the MDL are selected to have their cases tried before a jury. Because the plaintiffs’ cases involve common factual and legal issues, the trial can reveal evidence, trends or patterns in the litigation, or act as a guide for later trials involving the same or similar allegations.
Garrard, the managing partner of the Georgia-based law firm of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., has been heavily involved in defective transvaginal mesh litigation across the U.S. for the past six years.
He served as lead counsel in the only jury trial conducted to date in the Mentor ObTape MDL (MDL No. 2004, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia), which resulted in a confidential settlement for a large number of cases after one week of trial. That MDL similarly involved claims arising from the implantation of a pelvic mesh repair device.
Since 2009, Garrard and his firm have been at the forefront of the Bard MDL, as well as the three other transvaginal mesh MDLs that have been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia before Chief Judge Goodwin.
Those MDLs involve lawsuits against American Medical Systems, Inc. (MDL No. 2325), Boston Scientific Corp. (MDL No. 2326) and Ethicon, Inc. (MDL No. 2327).
Garrard has been appointed by Judge Goodwin to serve as Coordinating Co-Lead Counsel and as a member of the Executive Committee for all four MDLs. Another of the firm’s partners, Josh Wages, was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for each of the four MDLs.
About Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C.
Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., is an Athens, Georgia-based law firm that has been widely recognized for its ethics, skill and professionalism by Martindale-Hubbell®, The Best Lawyers in America, American College of Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Law & Politics Media/Atlanta Magazine. Since 2006, the firm’s defective medical device and product liability lawyers have pursued claims involving defective transvaginal mesh products, including handling attorney referrals from co-counsel across the country. For more information, call the firm at (866) 354-3544 or use its online contact form.