Actos, Transvaginal Mesh & Asbestos
Many people confuse the difference between a mass tort and a class action. A class action is brought on behalf of an entire group of people who share the same injury or loss against a defendant. The class action proceeding is intended to cut down on the number of cases filed with the court when many are harmed by the same problem. The individual compensation for the injury or circumstance must not be worth the time and money to hire a lawyer on an individual basis. Usually, the plaintiff in a class action receives very little compensation. For example, a group of consumers sue a company for systematically over charging them. If successful, each member of the class will get a same part of the class settlement. This is different from a mass tort.
In a mass tort a single lawyer or group of lawyers may represent several plaintiffs in individual cases. The discovery and investigation is conducted by one attorney and shared by all the attorneys. A nation wide network of lawyers can share resources, information and ideas to ensure that all plaintiffs get a fair settlement.
Mass tort litigation is more complicated than class action lawsuits because the way they are structured does not necessarily follow standard predictable legal procedure. The multitude of claims that are brought during the suit may make it difficult to determine settlements and compensation. Examples of mass tort litigation are transvaginal mesh cases, Actos litigation and many other cases brought against defective drugs or defective products. Over 68,000 transvaginal mesh cases have been filed against manufactures like Johnson and Johnson, (Ethicon, Inc.) American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard, Coloplast, Tyco, Caldera, and Caldera.
A Short History of Transvaginal Mesh Litigation
In July 2011 the FDA warned about serious injuries associated with transvaginal mesh patches when implanted to treat for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Then, later in 2011, the New England Journal od Medicine compared vaginal mesh to colporrhaphy, a treatment for POP, and found vaginal mesh carries greater risks, including:
- 7 times the risk of bladder perforation
- 2 times the risk of urinary incontinence
- 3.2 % of women required follow-up surgery to correct problem.
In November 2014 jurors in two separate trials awarded plaintiffs awards against Boston Scientific. In West Virginia the jury awards 4 women $18.5 million and in Florida $26.7 million. Thousands of lawsuits are pending against Boston Scientific and other vaginal mesh manufacturers.
Many of the drug and device device manufacturers have been entering into settlements with law firms who represent plaintiffs with transvaginal mesh injury claims. As juries returned favorable verdicts in mesh cases, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin warned device makers to cut their losses, urging them to settle outstanding claims and avoid massive court costs and even more losses. Perhaps not surprisingly, some companies opted to settle cases before trial. These include Johnson & Johnson, Bard, American Medical Systems (AMS), Boston Scientific, and Coloplast.
Johnson & Johnson manufactured Ethicon which faces the highest number of claims. The company began settling claims in January 2015. A federal jury in West Virginia awarded $3.27 million to Jo Husky in September 2014. Husky claimed her Ethicon Dynacare TV mesh caused permanent injuries and the company failed to warn her.
American Medical Systems Inc. (AMES) reached a $54.4 million settlement with transvaginal mesh claims just weeks before the California jury verdict in the Scott case. The settlement agreement involved lawsuits filed in both state and federal courts and was reached in June 2013, just a month after AMS estimated its liability at $159.8 million. AMS was among several companies the FDA ordered to conduct post-market studies of surgical mesh in 2012. Since 2008, thousands of mesh cases were filed alleging that AMS products, which were implanted to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, led to complications such as fistulas.
Bard has begun to settled more transvaginal mesh claims after a California Jury returned a $5.5 million verdict for Christine Scott, including $5 million for the plaintiff’s medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages, and $500,000 for her husband’s loss of consortium claim. Bard was held responsible for paying $3.6 million of the verdict. Bard also lost this appeal.
In May 2014, AMS reached another settlement with multiple plaintiffs’ law firms to settle approximately 20,000 mesh claims for up to $830 million. The total amount paid will ultimately depend on the number of participating claims. If less than all of the claimants participate, the total settlement amount will be reduced by a certain amount for each non-participating claim agreed to by the parties.
The settlement is also subject to participation thresholds for each firm. To be eligible for an award, the majority of claimants represented by a particular firm must participate in the settlement. If the majority of claimants represented by a particular firm decline to participate, AMES reserves the right to terminate the settlement agreement with that firm. In addition to the participation thresholds, the settlement is also subject to court approval.
Boston Scientific lost two federal trials back-to-back in November 2014. One federal jury in West Virginia awarded $18.5 it also found that the company acted with “gross negligence” and included $1 million in punitive damages for each of the four plaintiffs. A Miami federal jury awarded $26.7 million a week before to women who claimed they were injured by the Pinnacle device.
In September 2014, a Texas state jury awarded plaintiff Martha Salazar $73M. The jury found the company was “grossly negligent” and included $50 million in punitive damages.
In early 2014, Bloomberg News reported that Danish device maker Coloplast agreed to pay $16 M about 400 mesh lawsuits. The plaintiffs, who received Coloplast’s vaginal mesh inserts to treat pelvic organ prolapse, will receive payments averaging $40,000 each. The agreement was reportedly reached in January, but under the terms of the settlement agreement, the plaintiffs aren’t allowed to discuss the details.
Transvaginal Mesh Patch Failures Include Erosion and Infection
The Federal Food and Drug Administration says that complications from transvaginal mesh patches commonly include:
- Pelvic Pain
- Urinary problems such as incontinence
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Organ perforation (puncturing) from surgical tools during mesh implantation
- Vaginal scarring/shrinkage
- Nerve damage
Actos: A Short History of Actos Litigation
Thousands of people who used the drug known as Actos for type 2 diabetes have developed or died from bladder cancer. Despite the fact that Actos was banned in France and Germany because of its link to bladder cancer, Takada, the Japanese company who manufactured it, did not recall it from the U.S. market — causing deadly bladder cancer in patients who used it.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and its American subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., has agreed to settle one of the largest drug cases in US history. Drugwatch reports that the Japanese drug company, Takeda, has agreed to pay $2.37 billion to plaintiffs, or their estates, who suffered bladder cancer from the drug.
The litigation against Takeda for ACTOS and bladder cancer began in 2011 when a study surfaced linking it to an increased risk of bladder cancer. This study convinced the French and German health officials to ban the drug. Then, in 2012, a study in BMJ showed that long-term ACTOS users had an 83 percent increased risk of the deadly cancer, reports Drugwatch.
TAKEDA REFUSAL TO TAKE ACTOS OFF THE MARKET.
Despite its emerging side affects of bladder cancer, its banning in France and Germany and mounting lawsuits the Japanese manufacturer of ACTOS never recalled the drug in the United States. Instead, Takada in 2014 released a 10-year company funded study stating, “The 10-year final analysis did not show any statistical significant findings of increased risk of bladder cancer with long term use of piolitazone.” However, several other studies, including Takeda’s own five year interim study, showed an increase risk. Patients who used the drug for more than a year had double the risk of those who did not use it.
ACTOS PATIENT LITIGATION.
The consumer and patient complaints against Takada for the company’s blockbuster Type 2 diabetes drug, ACTOS, alleged that pioglitazon gave them bladder cancer. The complaints also included that the company hid the risks from patients and doctors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the public about the link between ACTOS and bladder cancer in June 2011which sparked lawsuits.
Takada took the first lawsuits to trial and the plaintiffs won five of them – including jury verdicts for compensatory and punitive damages for concealing the risks. In 2014 Takada loss lost a jury trial in Louisiana and had to pay $6 billion to former ACTOS user because the drug gave him bladder cancer. In another lawsuit, Takada was ordered to pay $1.5 M in compensatory damages and $6 B in punitive damages.
After taking losing several large jury verdicts the company decided to reduce the uncertainty of going to trial and agreed to a settlement. The drug maker agreed to pay $2.37 B to settle more than 10,000 bladder cancer lawsuits if 95% of the plaintiffs opted in. This is among the largest pharmaceutical litigation settlements in U.S. history.
According to Drugwatch, plaintiffs who hired lawyers before May 2015 are eligible to participate in the settlement. According to the Master Settlement Agreement, the amount awarded to each plaintiff will vary based on age, dosage of ACTOS taken and extent of injuries.
Each condition is ranked by a point value, and a higher point value corresponds to a higher payout. For example, a person under 50 with stage 4-bladder cancer would be awarded 750 points while a person 65 with recurrent or low stage cancer may be awarded 100 points. Each amount is further adjusted by several factors. This can take time to be worked out, which is why an Actos presettlement might be a good option for some.
A Short History of Asbestos Mesothelioma Litigation
Asbestos litigation has the distinction of being the longest running mass tort in American history. Asbestos related disease, like mesothelioma, was identified late 1920’s. Since then workers’ compensation cases were filed and quietly settled. Then for 30 years, during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, many more litigation cases were filed. A massive multi-district litigation (MDL) complex filing has remained pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for over 20 years. As many of the scarring-related injury cases have been resolved, asbestos litigation continues to be hard-fought among the litigants, mainly in individually brought cases for terminal cases of asbestosis and cancers.
In the late 19th century asbestos was considered an ideal material for use in construction. It has fire retardant, electrical resistance and was inexpensive to use. Therefore, asbestos was used practically everywhere including shipyards and buildings.
The problem with asbestos is that it the fibers become airborne and inhaled. The lungs cannot expel the fibers because they are too large. The asbestos fibers penetrate tissues and cause mesothelioma and cancer.
Johns-Manville, a powerhouse in construction materials during the 1960’s and 1970’s, filed bankruptcy in 1984 to escape the wave of asbestos litigation. Thereafter, many U.K. asbestos manufactures also filed bankruptcy. The environmental impact of asbestos clean up is also a source of much litigation.
Lance Lawsuit Funding Funds Plaintiffs In Mass Torts
Lance Lawsuit Funding provides pre-settlement loans and funding to plaintiffs with pending mass tort cases. We fund plaintiffs waiting for settlements in the Actos litigation and transvaginal mesh litigation.
How It Works.
If you are working with a lawyer and will be getting a settlement in the Actos or transvaginal mesh litigation then contact Lance Lawsuit Funding for a pre-settlement advance. When you contact us we will ask a few questions about your lawsuit, including the name of your lawyer. Then, we will take it from there. We will contact your lawyer for a few case documents – like the settlement offer and your consent. This process is easy and may be completed within 48 hours. Then we email the pre-funding agreement to you and your lawyer. When it is signed we can wire the money into you account the same day.
If you are receiving an Actos or transvaginal mesh settlement, but need money now, then contact Lance Lawsuit Funding to learn how we can help you. www.Lancelawsuitfunding.com