More women continue to come forward claiming their transvaginal mesh devices caused serious damage to their bodies, and many have entered into lawsuits to seek compensation for their injuries. One of the more publicized cases is in West Virginia, where numerous women are arguing an Ethicon transvaginal mesh device had a defective design, causing them to experience great pain and permanent injury. The original filing happened in the Northern District of Texas in July 2012, the Charleston Daily Mail reported, but the case was moved to the Southern District of West Virginia to be part of federal multidistrict litigation. According to Law360, this is the case involving Ethicon’s lost implant design documents.
The Daily Mail reported the case’s litigation started on Feb. 10, and the plaintiffs have decided to stick with their argument that the design of their pelvic mesh implants – which were used to treat stress urinary incontinence – were defective from the beginning.
Ethicon has made a bid to stop plaintiffs from telling the jury that the company lost design documents potentially essential to the case, according to Law360. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Eifert said “it may be appropriate for the jury to know about the loss of the evidence, such as when a plaintiff’s physician relied on information supplied by a sales representative whose call records were destroyed,” Law360 reported. In fact, according to the source, the sales representative responsible for one of the plaintiff’s physician’s practice has already testified that he preserved needed documents about the product.
Because Ethicon lost potentially important documents, this case could be one of the biggest ones of the year. Its ruling may set a precedence regarding if plaintiffs can argue about defective design, despite the defendants not having the necessary documents. As the materials have been preserved elsewhere, it is a complicated case.
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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.