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So, What’s a “Bellwether Trial?” On That Win For A Woman Injured by TVM Against J&J’s Ethicon
A jury in West Virginia federal court recently found Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc., the subsidiary company that manufactured transvaginal mesh devices, guilty for both defective design of the transvaginal mesh device and for failing to warn others of the device’s risks. The verdict will cost Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon $3.27 million. And this news is coming in the same week that Boston Scientific has been found guilty by a Dallas jury for a similar transvaginal mesh product.
These are two important verdict for all patients injured by transvaginal mesh as they are “bellwether” trials. Bellwether is a word lawyers like to use to say “predictor” or, even, “first in line,” it is a trial that can help to predict and encourage the flow and verdicts of future trials for the same issues. Both the $3.27 million and the $73 million verdict are groundbreakers, verdicts that could help the countless women in our country who have been injured by transvaginal mesh devices.
And that is the heart of transvaginal mesh litigation: The patients involved in these two groundbreaking trials had no idea of the risks involved with transvaginal mesh. They were both told that implanting the transvaginal mesh device was a minimally invasive procedure. Only that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And while these vitcims were not adequately warned of the risks involved… both juries decided separately that the two companies involved in the trials knew them well.