Transvaginal Mesh Class Action Lawsuit
When a transvaginal mesh (TVM) patient is pursuing a lawsuit over her defective medical device, she should carefully consider whether a private lawsuit or a class-action lawsuit will best meet her needs. It is important to use the legal vehicle that is likely to recover your largest settlement. The serious health implications from faulty TVM complications can created a slew of ongoing medical bills and possible permanent damage to your health.
The Difference Between Class Action Lawsuits and MDLs
A class action lawsuit is one in which several plaintiffs with similar complaints join together and sue as a group. The lawyers trying the case represent all of the plaintiffs collectively in one trial. Any monetary settlement that is the result of such a suit is divided among the plaintiffs – only after the attorneys are paid and expenses reimbursed.
The advantages of class action lawsuits are that plaintiffs do not have to be present for court proceedings, and they are thought to eliminate discrimination based on gender and race. Perhaps the biggest benefit of a class-action suit, however, is one of the greater good instead of individual reward. Class-action suits make the public aware of harmful products and often force defendants to remove them from the market.
Class-action lawsuits, however, are not always the best choice for individuals. Patients who have the option to file private lawsuits would be wise to do so, and their attorneys will help them determine whether state or federal court is the best arena for their cases.
When multiple private federal lawsuits with similar complaints are filed in the United States, a judiciary panel can propose that they be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL allows the courts and lead attorneys for both sides to streamline the discovery phase of the many trials. Plaintiffs and defendants in all the cases share documents, depositions and other evidence. However, each case still receives its own trial and settlement.
Why Filing a Private Lawsuit is Better than a Class Action Lawsuit
MDLs are slow-moving and generally are considered more favorable to large corporations, such as the TVM manufacturers. Corporate lawyers can focus their attention on trying to exclude evidence. Federal laws and procedures are geared to help them do so. Judge Joseph R. Goodwin has been appointed to oversee two MDLs concerning TVM, both in West Virginia: Avaulta-Bard and Ethicon-American Medical Systems-Boston Scientific. To opt out of an MDL, the plaintiff must show the judge that her TVM case is significantly different from the cases included in the MDL.
Still, if a plaintiff cannot opt out, an MDL usually is a better legal path than a class-action suit for a patient suffering severe complications from a class of medical devices, such as TVM. This primarily is because the total settlement of a class-action suit may be large, but once the money is divided among the plaintiffs, individual payout amounts are not. Attorneys, however, may try to steer you toward joining a class-action lawsuit because they are more lucrative for the litigators.
We at the Transvaginal Mesh Help Center want to assist you in finding the best legal counsel and plan of action for your lawsuit. You deserve to receive fair and adequate compensation for the damage done to your body, plus medical expenses and loss of wages. Please call our patient advocates at 800-514-9716 to discuss your case.