First Bard transvaginal mesh lawsuits to begin in February
The 1st set of lawsuits accusing device maker C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) and others of manufacturing defective transvaginal mesh products will hit a federal court in West Virginia next year.
The results could set the tone for lawsuit against fellow mesh-makers Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings (NSDQ:ENDP) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), also targeted by patient injury lawsuits.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin will oversee the 1st of about 600 lawsuits claiming that Bard’s Avaulta line of mesh products were "rushed to the market without first being shown to be safe or effective" and resulted in "serious physical and emotional injuries," according to a press release from the law firm of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley P.C.
Bard found itself mired in a mess of lawsuits after dozens of patients asked to join a multi-district federal case against the company for allegedly selling defective and dangerous products – its Avaulta transvaginal mesh.
Consolidated from 21 individual lawsuits in October 2010, the lawsuit includes complaints from women implanted with three different types of Bard mesh: The Avaulta Biosynthetic, the Avaulta Plus and the Avaulta Solo mesh.
The complaints arose as transvaginal mesh gained visibility in the public eye over FDA concerns that it might do more harm than good. The devices are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse, which occurs when internal support structures become so weak or stretched that organs, like the uterus, bladder or bowels, sag from their normal position and bulge or prolapse into the vagina.
First Depuy ASR hip lawsuits set for trial in December
Nearly 2 years after Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics recalled it’s troubled ASR metal-on-metal hip implants, the 1st patient injury lawsuits will head to court in December and January. A pair of trials in Nevada and Maryland are scheduled to begin hearings, each involving 3 hip implant recipients alleging that the devices caused more harm than good.
Lawsuits over the metal-on-metal hips have piled up around the world. Hundreds of Australian patients joined a class action lawsuit that some say may top $200 million in damages. The upcoming trials are expected to be a bellwether for how juries will react to lawsuits moving forward.
CAO sues Biolase for laser patent infringement
Biolase Technology (NSDQ:BLTI) announced that it received notice of a patent infringement lawsuit filed by CAO Group over Biolase’s ezlase dental diode laser technology. The lawsuit doesn’t include any actual design, features or functions of the ezlase, but mentions specifically the device’s methods for storing excessive fiber, according to a press release.
Biolase CEO Federico Pignatelli was brazenly confident in defending the company’s patent portfolio.
"CAO’s diode is an inferior product manufactured in China," Pignatelli said in prepared remarks. " It is costly, has less laser power and fewer features when compared to ezlase, and it also has a large physical footprint and unpleasant design. We believe CAO, who clearly cannot fairly compete with BIOLASE among the dental community, has instead turned to the court system with this lawsuit, which we strongly believe to be frivolous, in an attempt to exploit us and to try and achieve what it clearly cannot accomplish in the marketplace."
The ezlase system won FDA clearance in 2007, landing additional clearances for tooth whitening and pain relief therapy in 2008 and 2009.
"CAO, an upstart newcomer to our esteemed industry, contends that the ezlase, which has been on the market for more than five years, infringes on what appears to be a narrow patent that received minimal scrutiny from the patent office," Pignatelli said. "We look forward to our day in court."
As of the end of April, Biolase had not yet been served a complain on the lawsuit, according to a press release.