New York, NY - November 7th, 2013 - In a Nov. 5 ruling, a federal judge denied medical device manufacturer C.R. Bard an award of attorney fees it had requested following a plaintiff’s withdrawal of her transvaginal mesh lawsuit, according to court documents. The Rottenstein Law Group LLP, which operates the transvaginal mesh website www.vaginalmeshlawsuitscenter.com, notes that Judge Joseph R. Goodwin did, however, order plaintiff Linda Rizzo to pay about $14,000 to cover some of Bard’s pretrial expenses.
In the order, Goodwin, who is overseeing six consolidations of more than 30,000 federal mesh lawsuits in West Virginia, indicated that a federal statute allows for Bard to recover costs for expenses “including fees for obtaining deposition transcripts and medical records,” and that “the plaintiffs do not dispute the reasonableness of these costs,” according to court documents (C. R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation; MDL-2187, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia).
Nevertheless, Goodwin did not grant attorney fees, because “although voluntary dismissal may have been unexpected, Bard cannot argue that it is disappointed with the outcome of this case; Bard did not have to pay a settlement or expend resources at trial.”
Rochelle Rottenstein, principal of the Rottenstein Law Group LLP, explained what the ruling means for those who want to file or have filed transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
“In this country, the rule is that each side to a lawsuit will pay its own legal fees, unless there is an agreement to the contrary or a law requiring the prevailing party’s fees to be paid by the other party,” Rottenstein said. “So absent extraordinary circumstances, which Judge Goodwin did not find here, Bard is not entitled to have its fees paid by the plaintiff, although she is responsible to pay Bard’s costs, which include filing fees and other expenditures.”
Rizzo’s withdrawal of her lawsuit is one outcome of at least three bellwether trials in the Bard consolidation (also known as a “multidistrict litigation”) in West Virginia. The first bellwether trial, which ended on Aug. 15, resulted in a $2 million jury award to the plaintiff, according to court documents. Another was settled that month for an undisclosed sum. There was no substantive information about why Rizzo withdrew her lawsuit, but court documents indicate it was dismissed with prejudice.
Bard, American Medical Systems, Coloplast, Cook Medical and Boston Scientific are the major mesh manufacturers in federal consolidations in West Virginia who are considering settling tens of thousands of mesh lawsuits across the nation, according to a Sept. 30 Bloomberg report. Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon is reportedly not a participant in the talks, the article said.
Women are filing transvaginal mesh lawsuits alleging they suffered from serious, life-altering side effects such as pain, discomfort and device erosion, according to court documents. Vaginal mesh products are intended to allow doctors to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.
The Rottenstein Law Group LLP encourages those who believe they have suffered from the alleged side effects of their vaginal mesh implants to visit the firm's transvaginal mesh lawsuits FAQ page to learn about vaginal mesh compensation and settlements and lawsuits. For updates on lawsuit news, visit RLG's transvaginal mesh Facebook page.
About The Rottenstein Law Group LLP
The Rottenstein Law Group LLP is a New York-based firm that represents clients nationwide in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, who has more than two decades of experience as a lawyer, to represent clients hurt by defective medical devices and drugs. (Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)
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