Georgia Lawyers Garrard, Wages Appointed to Lead Roles in Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuits

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A federal court recently appointed attorneys Henry G. Garrard III and Josh B. Wages of Georgia’s Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., to leadership positions in the ongoing multidistrict litigation cases against four transvaginal mesh manufacturers.

Transvaginal mesh attorney, defective surgical mesh lawyer, pelvic mesh lawsuits, defective medical devices, products liability, Athens, Georgia, GA

Henry G. Garrard III

Garrard has been appointed to serve as Coordinating Co-Lead Counsel and named to the Executive Committee for all four transvaginal mesh MDLs. Wages has been appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

As the result of a recent federal court ruling, Georgia defective medical device attorneys Henry G. Garrard III and Josh B. Wages will assume roles in the attorney leadership structure in ongoing multidistrict litigation against four transvaginal mesh manufacturers.

Garrard has been appointed to serve as Coordinating Co-Lead Counsel of the litigation – among other roles – while Wages was named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

The appointments were made on April 13, when Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia approved a proposed counsel structure for attorneys representing plaintiffs in all federal court cases against C.R. Bard, Inc., American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon, Inc.

The plaintiffs in the litigation are women from across the country that have suffered serious physical and emotional injuries after being implanted with one or more of the manufacturers’ surgical mesh products in their pelvic region. The mesh was implanted to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and / or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In many cases, the women claim to have received multiple pelvic mesh implants made by the different companies.

The plaintiffs argued for the counsel structure based on the interrelationship between the transvaginal mesh products, the common fact questions relating to health problems generally associated with the pelvic mesh devices and the need for efficiency in dealing with this national women’s health tragedy.

By approving the structure, Judge Goodwin created a coordinated and unified leadership that will span across all four multidistrict litigation cases (MDLs):

  •     In re C.R. Bard, Inc. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2187)
  •     In re American Medical Systems, Inc. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2325)
  •     In re Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2326)
  •     In re Ethicon, Inc. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2327)

Garrard, a defective medical device attorney who has been at the forefront of national transvaginal mesh litigation since 2006, also was appointed by Judge Goodwin to serve on the Executive Committee for all four MDLs. He will continue to serve as Co-Lead Counsel in the In Re Bard MDL, a role he has held since 2010.

Garrard is a founding member and head of the plaintiffs’ litigation department for the Athens, Georgia-based Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. He previously served as the sole Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel in the Mentor ObTape MDL (MDL 2004) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

The Mentor ObTape MDL also involved personal injury claims arising out of the implantation of surgical mesh devices in the pelvic region of female plaintiffs. Garrard and attorneys from his firm served as lead counsel for the only jury trial to date in the Mentor ObTape MDL, which resulted in a confidential settlement of a number of cases after one week of trial.

Wages has also played a significant role in the ongoing transvaginal mesh MDLs, including the coordination of written and electronic discovery on behalf of the plaintiffs and the drafting of motions and pleadings that have led to formation of the MDL’s and several major developments in the litigation.

Garrard and his firm spearheaded the creation of the MDL involving C.R. Bard, Inc., pelvic mesh repair devices, which was assigned to Judge Goodwin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in December 2010. (Initially, the MDL involved only Bard’s Avaulta line. Later, the court granted motions to consolidate claims stemming from all other Bard pelvic repair products into the MDL).

Garrard and the firm also led the effort to transfer and consolidate all federal cases involving the pelvic repair products sold by American Medical Systems, Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon, Inc., to the same federal district court.

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.

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